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Would-be lottery winner to get new roof

California LotteryCalifornia Lottery: Would-be lottery winner to get new roof
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Includes video report

Parlier, California, resident Elida Betancourt isn't going to get the $54 million she thought she won in this week's lottery when her newspaper printed the wrong winning numbers. But she will get something.

After hearing about Betancourt's illusive brush with fortune, two local businessmen have stepped up to give the 69-year-old Betancourt the first thing she had planned to spend her apparent Mega Millions jackpot on: a new roof.

"Because I own a roofing company and thought I could put some joy back into her heart, I wanted to do this," said Ryan Lee, owner of Allstate Roofing, which is teaming up with materials company ABC Supply for the job.

Lee, an occasional lottery player himself, said he can't imagine the letdown he would experience if he thought he hit it big, then learned otherwise.

And that's just how it felt, Betancourt said.

"I almost had a heart attack when I first saw the numbers, and I'm still trying to relax," Betancourt said Friday.

The retired fruit packer, who has been playing the lottery for years, matched one of her Mega Millions picks for Tuesday's drawing with the winning numbers printed in Wednesday's Bee.

"When I saw the six numbers, I started screaming and screaming," she said. "I got down on my knees to give thanks to God and my husband."

Her husband of 51 years died this summer, and she had thought he was looking out for her.

"We had known we needed a new roof," added Betancourt, who lives in a working-class Parlier neighborhood. "When I saw the winning numbers, the first thing I thought of was: 'I have the money to fix the roof.' "

Several family members came to the house and joined her in celebration Wednesday. That's when her son went to a nearby liquor store and learned that the wrong numbers had been printed.

Bee Executive Editor and Senior Vice President Betsy Lumbye apologized to Betancourt that day.

"We were just sick to hear not only that we had published the wrong numbers, but worse, that the error had caused someone such a crushing disappointment," Lumbye said. "We set out to find what had gone wrong and were puzzled because everyone had followed every editing protocol, down to rechecking each other's work against the lottery website."

The error, she explained, happened when the California State Lottery website didn't refresh as it normally does. As a result, the Mega Millions numbers for Tuesday's drawing that appeared on the website — and were printed in Wednesday's Bee — were from the prior Friday drawing.

The Bee is changing its procedures for additional safeguards.

A representative from the state lottery said some players reported similar problems, but the hitches were temporary.

No other newspaper printed the incorrect numbers, lottery spokesman Russell Lopez said.

Still, the state lottery on Friday introduced a new website for posting winning numbers. The change, Lopez said, was not directly motivated by the error at The Bee, but said it would help prevent the problem that happened this week.

In another stroke of misfortune for Betancourt, she didn't play her regular numbers last Friday — including the winning combination of 7, 12, 19, 23, 31 and Mega number 45.

"For some reason, I didn't have the cards with me, so I just got a $10 Quick Pick that day," she said.

Betancourt said she wishes she could win the lottery but will appreciate a new roof.

She can expect to see it the first week of October, said Mike Firpo, a managing partner of ABC Supply Inc. in Fresno. Firpo learned about the mix-up from his neighbor, Will Fleet, The Bee's publisher.

ABC Supply is providing materials for the job while Allstate Roofing is doing the work — a project valued at about $12,000.

"It's just the core values of our company to give back to our community," Firpo said Friday. "And I can imagine the roller coaster ride this woman has been on."

http://media.lpimg.com/2011092102.mp4

Thanks to TigerAngel for the tip.

Fresno Bee, ABC News

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21 comments. Last comment 3 years ago by HaveABall.
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freeobama's avatar - Lottery-057.jpg
Sunny part of town
United States
Member #102880
December 27, 2010
224 Posts
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Posted: September 21, 2011, 12:16 pm - IP Logged

I think it is great she got her a new roof. It is crazy how she got all six numbers after the draw with a quick pick! Her ship came in and she missed it.Bandit

    LottoGuyBC's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
    British Columbia
    Canada
    Member #116105
    September 4, 2011
    3475 Posts
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    Posted: September 21, 2011, 12:51 pm - IP Logged

    kind of reminds us to check and re check out tickets before throwing them out

    may have to check a few sources rather than just one source ie local paper

    oh not a winner...trash it goes

    later finds out...it's a BIG winner Confused

    "You have to be in it to win it!"

      cbr$'s avatar - maren
      Cordova,Al.
      United States
      Member #104485
      January 15, 2011
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      Posted: September 21, 2011, 3:21 pm - IP Logged

      It is great the two company are going to help her get a new roof.

        Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
        Chief Bottle Washer
        New Jersey
        United States
        Member #1
        May 31, 2000
        21436 Posts
        Online
        Posted: September 21, 2011, 4:57 pm - IP Logged

        kind of reminds us to check and re check out tickets before throwing them out

        may have to check a few sources rather than just one source ie local paper

        oh not a winner...trash it goes

        later finds out...it's a BIG winner Confused

        Right, double-check those numbers, especially with newspapers.  I have seen so many lottery errors in newspapers that I'm not sure why anyone would rely on them for checking tickets.  Plus, with a newspaper, once it goes to press there is no way to correct the error.

         

        Check the State Lottery Report Card
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        Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
        Help eliminate computerized drawings!

          dpoly1's avatar - driver
          PA
          United States
          Member #66141
          October 16, 2008
          1434 Posts
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          Posted: September 21, 2011, 5:04 pm - IP Logged

          Right, double-check those numbers, especially with newspapers.  I have seen so many lottery errors in newspapers that I'm not sure why anyone would rely on them for checking tickets.  Plus, with a newspaper, once it goes to press there is no way to correct the error.

          I have always double and triple check my numbers, especially if I think I have won !!!!!

          Thank you fearless leader Todd !!!!!!!!

          Sun Smiley

            rdgrnr's avatar - walt
            -Ridge Runner- Oracle of the Appalachians
            Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
            United States
            Member #73904
            April 28, 2009
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            Posted: September 21, 2011, 7:58 pm - IP Logged

            It was nice of the Roofing Company and the Supply Company to give this lady a new roof but something still gets stuck in my craw about this mess.

            What is the newspaper that printed the wrong numbers doing to assuage this display of incompetence and its effect on this woman? No other newspapers reported the wrong numbers - just them.

            It seems if two companies who had nothing to do with this fiasco can show compassion and provide her with a new roof, that the newspaper should at least step up to the plate and do something too.

            What a bunch of cheapskates.


                                                         
                                 
                                                     

             

             

             

             

                                                                                                               

            "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                                        --Edmund Burke

             

             

              sully16's avatar - sharan
              Listens to the wind

              United States
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              October 28, 2009
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              Posted: September 21, 2011, 9:58 pm - IP Logged

              Glad she got a roof.

              There's only one US Flag

                Avatar
                Elgin, IL
                United States
                Member #93544
                July 2, 2010
                318 Posts
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                Posted: September 22, 2011, 6:14 am - IP Logged

                That's nice. If I had the money I would help her out too.  Some people say, "Why didn't she check the website?" Maybe she doesn't know how to use a computer. This may come as a shock, but not every human knows how to use one or owns one. She gets her numbers from the papers, so when she seen all of her numbers matched, of course she's going to scream and thank the heavens above. Many people still read the paper, especially older people.  I would not want that to happen to me! Now, I know why people who do win say they don't believe it and check the ticket many times over. I think her biggest mistake was telling people, including family. If your kids have a big mouth, don't tell them right away. If she played those numbers the friday before, she would've won!

                  RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                  mid-Ohio
                  United States
                  Member #9
                  March 24, 2001
                  17730 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: September 22, 2011, 6:49 am - IP Logged

                  "We had known we needed a new roof," added Betancourt, who lives in a working-class Parlier neighborhood. "When I saw the winning numbers, the first thing I thought of was: 'I have the money to fix the roof.' "


                  Being 69 and just having won $54M, I would have been thinking of a new home rather than a new roof if I was able to think at all.

                  I once mistakely thought I had matched all six numbers in a local lottery but I was the only one to ever know about it, I wonder how so many knew about her situation.

                  * you don't need more tickets * 
                  * just the right ticket * 
                     Wink 

                    Avatar
                    New Jersey
                    United States
                    Member #77101
                    July 13, 2009
                    7805 Posts
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                    Posted: September 22, 2011, 7:09 am - IP Logged

                    "We had known we needed a new roof," added Betancourt, who lives in a working-class Parlier neighborhood. "When I saw the winning numbers, the first thing I thought of was: 'I have the money to fix the roof.' "


                    Being 69 and just having won $54M, I would have been thinking of a new home rather than a new roof if I was able to think at all.

                    I once mistakely thought I had matched all six numbers in a local lottery but I was the only one to ever know about it, I wonder how so many knew about her situation.

                    People knew about her situation because her son couldn't wait to get on the phone and tell the relatives.  Not winning may have been a blessing in disguise because people would have been coming out of the woodwork.  Her son looked even more miserable than she did when he found out she hadn't won. She didn't have time to think about a new roof, probably was in shock, couldn't even begin to consider what $54 million could buy - her immediate financial concern was getting a new roof.

                    Whoever said money can't buy happiness simply didn't know where to go shopping

                      Avatar

                      United States
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                      May 20, 2011
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                      Posted: September 22, 2011, 5:51 pm - IP Logged

                      Man, that screw-up sucks...sorry to hear about that..

                      Happy to hear you're getting a new roof tho!! What a kind gesture..

                      Good luck to you!

                        TigerAngel's avatar - tiger andfairy.jpg
                        california
                        United States
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                        October 13, 2005
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                        Posted: September 22, 2011, 11:46 pm - IP Logged

                        I didn't realize until the second reading of the article, she left her "cards", probably slips already filled out, at home on Friday and so she bought quickpicks instead. Had she played her regular numbers on Friday, she would have won. So the misprint in the paper is a double-whammy. OMG! Something supernatural spooky here!

                        I'm so glad those two business men stepped up to give her a new roof.

                        Blue Angel  "if you can hold it in your mind, you can hold it in your hand"

                          rdgrnr's avatar - walt
                          -Ridge Runner- Oracle of the Appalachians
                          Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
                          United States
                          Member #73904
                          April 28, 2009
                          14903 Posts
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                          Posted: September 22, 2011, 11:56 pm - IP Logged

                          I didn't realize until the second reading of the article, she left her "cards", probably slips already filled out, at home on Friday and so she bought quickpicks instead. Had she played her regular numbers on Friday, she would have won. So the misprint in the paper is a double-whammy. OMG! Something supernatural spooky here!

                          I'm so glad those two business men stepped up to give her a new roof.

                          I was thinking the same thing, like what's the odds of those two circumstances happening in one day?

                          I don't know if she should give up playing now or play more, LOL.


                                                                       
                                               
                                                                   

                           

                           

                           

                           

                                                                                                                             

                          "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                                                      --Edmund Burke

                           

                           

                            Avatar
                            C. C. Texas
                            United States
                            Member #17414
                            June 18, 2005
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                            Posted: September 23, 2011, 9:54 am - IP Logged

                            Look at the Video again and you will see it is NOT a Quick Pick. If it were there would be the letters QP to the right of the numbers.

                            They picked the numbers that came out in the last draw. I do that some times.


                            No Pity!