After a long search for the winner of a $23 million California Lottery jackpot, the winner turned out to be a 69-year-old disabled grandmother from Palmdale, Calif.
When she was informed that she won the lottery, Julie Cervera had a single dollar in her pocket and an overdue electric bill, and she recently had her cable shut off, according to NBC Los Angeles. Now, the disabled grandmother and widow has $23 million to her name.
The first thing Cervera plans to buy with her newfound fortune? Shoes.
"It hasn't hit me yet, but I'm gonna get me some Nikes," Cervera told an NBC Los Angeles news crew. "I'm going to get me five pairs of different shoes ... Now I can finally afford it."
She also stated that she would spend the rest of her money providing for her six children and her 18 grandchildren. One of her daughters was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis recently, and Cervera plans to purchase a house for her.
"My grandkids are all going to be taken care of, and my [three] daughters," she said. "I'm just so happy. I'm going to buy me a pair of Reeboks."
Cervera’s winning lotto ticket was purchased by her daughter more than five months ago, and as the Nov. 26 deadline to redeem it approached, the California Lottery set out to find the mystery winner.
With only 25 days left before the $23 million reverted to California schools, Cervera’s daughter, who purchased the ticket for her mother, recognized herself in surveillance footage released by the California Lottery and quickly got in touch with her mother. The winning ticket had unknowingly been in Cervera’s glove compartment for months.
The ticket was purchased at Palmdale’s Michael's Market & Liquor, and the winning numbers were 14, 7, 26, 31, 23 and Mega 5.