by Photo courtesy of California Lottery

A California Lottery player beat the odds by hitting the $426 million Mega Millions Jackpot with a ticket she purchased at a gas station in Los Angeles County.

Kristine Wellenstein purchased a ticket the only ticket in the country that matched all six numbers at a Chevron station in Woodland Hills in January.

“When I realized I’d won, I was overcome with so many emotions, but mostly gratitude,” said Wellenstein. 

Lottery officials announced that Wellenstien’s win concluded a jackpot sequence that began in October of 2021 and rolled 27 times.  Sales for the entire sequence in California totaled $110.3 million, which means California’s public schools get an estimated $40 million just from this jackpot run. 

“We love having big jackpots and big wins in California,” said Alva V.Johnson, Director of the California State Lottery. “Higher jackpots typically result in higher sales, of course, and that means more money for public education, which we are proud to support. The Lottery exists solely to benefit schools, so not only do we congratulate Ms. Wellenstein on this terrific win, but we also congratulate students from elementary on up through university, who greatly benefit as well.”

Wallenstein opted to take the lump sum as a result of her win. According to Lottery officials, she is “interested in being a good steward of her newfound wealth”. 

“I want to give back and support local and global-based initiatives, and my team is in place to help achieve those objectives,” she said. “The real impact of my life’s work begins now." 

According to the state Lottery, the odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 302,575,350. There are nine ways to earn a prize, and the overall odds of winning something at any prize level are 1 in 24. 

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