A woman won the state’s largest lottery jackpot with a ticket she purchased at a Chevron gas station in Woodland Hills earlier this year.
On Jan. 28, Kristine Wellenstein hit the $426 million Mega Millions jackpot and her ticket was the only one in the entire country to match all six numbers, the California Lottery announced Thursday.
“When I realized I’d won, I was overcome with so many emotions, but mostly gratitude,” Wellenstein said to lotto officials.
Although she considers herself a private person, Wellenstein wants to be a good steward of her newfound wealth and share it with others.
“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.”
Wellenstein’s win concluded a jackpot sequence that began in October of 2021 and rolled 27 times. Sales for the entire sequence in the state totaled $110.3 million, meaning California’s public schools get an estimated $40 million from this jackpot run.
“Higher jackpots typically result in higher sales, of course, and that means more money for public education, which we are proud to support,” said Alva V. Johnson, director of the California State Lottery. “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.”
Wellenstein has opted to take the lump sum as a result of her win.
The Chevron station where she bought the lucky Mega Millions ticket, located at 6061 Topanga Canyon Blvd., gets the maximum $1 million bonus for selling the winning ticket.
Mega Millions draws happen twice weekly, on Tuesdays and Fridays at 8 p.m. Tickets are $2 each, and the odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 302,575,350. The jackpot, however, isn’t the only way to win. There are nine ways to earn a prize, and the overall odds of winning something at any prize level are 1 in 24.