Pomona, CA - Speculation Growing About Powerball Win After Jewish Firm Claims Employee Has Ticket
Last updated on: January 14, 2016 08:22 PM
Pomona, CA - Less than 24 hours after the winning numbers were announced in the $1.5 billion Powerball win comes unconfirmed reports that one of the three winning tickets belongs to an employee of a well known California philanthropist, who bought almost 18,000 Powerball tickets to distribute to the residents and employees at his nursing facilities.
Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitz told VIN News that he sent approximately 20 employees out on Sunday morning to buy the tickets, a time consuming process since each ticket had to be purchased individually.
Rechnitz said that he decided to buy the tickets for his staff and residents in honor of the new year at the cost of almost $36,000 after seeing that no one had won the Saturday night Powerball drawing.
“With these patients, all they have is hope,” Rechnitz told VIN News. “They are living on hope and we wanted to give them more of it.”
Rechnitz spokesperson Joshua Nass said that 600 tickets had been sent to Park Avenue Healthcare and Wellness Center in Pomona, one of several dozen owned by Rechnitz. The tickets were delivered by FedEx to the facility on Wednesday morning and staffers spent most of the day distributing the Powerball tickets.
Park Avenue administrator David Levy said that the facility had been buzzing since the tickets were distributed along with cards saying, “We’ll provide the ticket, you provide the dream.”
“People couldn’t believe it,” said Levy. “It made everyone so excited talking about what they would do if they won. The whole day was filled with talk about the Powerball and it brought a lot of happiness, a lot of dreams.”
The Powerball drawing took place at 8 PM California time and shortly thereafter, a group text informed Park Avenue staffers that facility’s nursing supervisor held the winning ticket, which had been purchased at a 7-Eleven store in Chino Hills, located eight miles away from the facility.
“Her kids had taken a picture of the ticket and they were the ones who notified her that she won,” said Levy. “She had the ticket with her at work and she pulled it out and showed it to two other employees who verified that she had won.”
It was a chaotic scene at Park Avenue last night.
“Everyone started going crazy,” said Levy.
Levy and Rechnitz both acknowledged that they had not seen the winning ticket.
Levy declined to name the mystery Powerball winner, describing her only as being in her early 60’s and a long time staffer at Park Avenue who has seven children, six of whom are nurses. Levy said the employee is not Jewish.
“Being a devoted employee, she didn’t leave when she found out she had won,” said Levy. “She stayed and finished her shift. That is who she is. It couldn’t have happened to a better person.”
It’s not clear if the winning ticket was one of the tickets purchased by Rechnitz or if she bought it herself.
The unconfirmed winner was not scheduled to work today or tomorrow and has not been taking phone calls, including those from Levy and Rechnitz, both of whom tried calling to congratulate her.
Levy said he has spent the afternoon fielding calls from the media as word of the winning ticket has spread and has no idea if the woman will show up for her shift on Saturday.
After reports started to surface about the possible winner, California Lottery said on its Twitter feed, “The Chino Hills winner has not come forward yet”.
The other two winning Powerball tickets were bought in Melbourne, Florida and Munford, Tennessee. The identity of those two winners is still unknown.
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