Formerly Unhoused Woman Wins $5M in California Lottery

Just five years ago, Lucia Forseth was homeless
By Steve Huff,  Newser Staff
Posted May 7, 2023 4:15 PM CDT
Woman Once Unhoused Wins $5M California Lottery
   (Getty Images / Mykola Sosiukin)

Formerly homeless Lucia Forseth is now rolling in dough after nabbing $5 million from the California lottery, reports the Los Angeles Times. Her lucky break came during a pit stop at a Contra Costa County Walmart for an oil change. With time to kill, she bought a single Scratchers ticket. "I just closed my eyes and picked one," Forseth said. At first glance, she thought she'd won a free ticket. But no, she'd become a multimillionaire. “Six years ago," Forseth told the California Lottery, "I was homeless. This year I am getting married, getting my associate degree, and won $5 million. You never think you have a chance to win it. It is just random."

In the Lottery press release, spokesperson Carolyn Becker said, "The California Lottery's sole mission is to raise additional funding for public education, and it’s only possible with our players' support. Hearing a success story like this showcases the positive impact our games have on winners and schools alike." Forseth indicated she did not wish to speak to the press. Winning the lottery has significant benefits and pitfalls, notes Yahoo Finance. On the positive side, it can result in a sudden influx of wealth that can allow for more financial freedom, the ability to pay off debts, and the opportunity to invest or make donations to charity.

On the downside, reports CNBC, the sudden windfall can also result in adverse psychological effects. It can also strain relationships and cause privacy issues due to public attention. Additionally, winners often risk bankruptcy due to poor financial management. Moreover, there's the so-called "lottery curse." Numerous winners have experienced misfortune after their win, ranging from financial troubles to personal issues. (More lottery winner stories.)

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