Cruel Hoax: Son Fools California Nurse Into Thinking She Won Powerball

Fact Check

  • by: Alan Duke

A California woman was convinced for several hours Thursday that she was hundreds of millions of dollars richer, only to learn after her story was broadcast to the world that her son was playing a cruel joke on her. The 62-year-old nurse did not win a one-third share of the $1.5 billion prize.

Los Angeles TV station KABC reported Thursday afternoon that the woman held a winning ticket and that it had been gifted to her by her boss, who owned a chain of nursing homes. Her name was not released, but she is a mother of seven who works at Park Avenue Health Care and Wellness Center in Pomona, California.

The owner purchased thousands of tickets and gave them to employees, KABC reported.

The woman's son called her Thursday and said her ticket matched the winning numbers. She told her coworkers and her supposed good fortune was soon reported by the TV station. It was retracted later in the evening when California lottery officials raised questions.

A winning ticket was confirmed to have been sold at a 7-Eleven convenience store in Chino Hills, California. No actual winner had come forward to claim the prize by late Thursday.


  Alan Duke

Editor-in-Chief Alan Duke co-founded Lead Stories after ending a 26-year career with CNN, where he mainly covered entertainment, current affairs and politics. Duke closely covered domestic terrorism cases for CNN, including the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, the UNABOMBER and search for Southeast bomber Eric Robert Rudolph. CNN moved Duke to Los Angeles in 2009 to cover the entertainment beat. Duke also co-hosted a daily podcast with former HLN host Nancy Grace, "Crime Stories with Nancy Grace" and hosted the podcast series "Stan Lee's World: His Real Life Battle with Heroes & Villains." You'll also see Duke in many news documentaries, including on the Reelz channel, CNN and HLN.

Read more about or contact Alan Duke

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