Nurse's Powerball Win Turns Out to Be Son's Prank

It made the news before she realized the truth
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2016 4:38 AM CST
Updated Jan 15, 2016 7:03 AM CST
Nurse's Powerball Win Turns Out to Be Son's Prank
A store clerk removes a Powerball quick pick lottery ticket Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016, in Oakland, Calif.    (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

A nurse in California thought she had won the world's biggest lottery jackpot, but soon discovered she had a son with the world's worst sense of humor. News that the 62-year-old mother of seven, who works at a health center in Pomona, had won the Powerball lottery spread across the country before it emerged that it was a prank by her son, who had called to tell her she had won, BuzzFeed reports. "It's a joke. It's a prank ... by my brother," one of the nurse's daughters tells the New York Daily News. "It's embarrassing. This is too much for us." She says her mother didn't discover the prank until she came home from work, where she had celebrated with colleagues. She hasn't been identified.

The "win" had been publicized by a spokesperson for nursing home owner Shlomo Rechnitz, who bought 18,000 Powerball tickets for employees and residents at the 80 nursing homes he owns, reports ABC7. Rechnitz tells the station that the prank is "despicable" and he will pay for an all-expenses vacation anywhere the nurse and her family would like to go. A Rechnitz spokesperson tells BuzzFeed that the nurse is a "wonderful lady and an incredible employee" who stayed to finish her shift even when she thought she had won $1.6 billion. The real winning tickets were sold in California, Tennessee, and Florida, but the winners have not come forward yet, AP reports. (For 20 minutes last weekend, workers at this restaurant thought they'd won the jackpot.)

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