Thursday, March 20, 2008

Ojai Couple Wins Share Of Lottery

Missing Mega number reduces $59M possible win into $175K payday

By Daryl Kelley
It wasn’t Mega Millions, but it was a nice surprise for an Ojai couple approaching retirement, anyway.
Judie Jensen, a bookkeeper, and her machinist husband, Collin, are padding their retirement accounts this week after Judie “quick picked” five of five numbers in the $59,000,000 Mega Millions Lottery last Friday, missing only the Mega number.
No one chose all six winning numbers, but the Jensens were one of two who picked five of five, and so they received $175, 085 — or, they will actually get $131,314 after 25 percent is taken for taxes.
Either way, it’s a nice bit of luck for an occasional lottery player who snagged a ticket at the Valero gas station on Ojai Avenue.
“I just play it now and again,” Judie said this week. “A quick pick.”
It’s not like she expected to win.
She didn’t get around to checking her numbers until nearly two days after the Friday night selections.
“It was Sunday, later in the day,” she recalled. “I checked the numbers in the paper, and I was just kind of in shock. I walked out (to the garage) and showed my husband the ticket.”
She said she doesn’t recall a real celebration, although she said the couple, both in their 60s, could use the money to shore up their retirement accounts.
“We’ll probably just max out our retirement accounts,” said Judie, who has lived in Ojai with her family since 1972. “We’re going to save a lot of it. We’re not going to blow it all. That’s not what we do.”
Judie laughed when she picked up the phone this week to answer a reporter’s questions.
She’d been told by lottery officials that her name, hometown and winning amount were public information.
Still, she’s shy about it all, she said. And she can’t shake a tantalizing thought that keeps popping back into her mind.
“It’s great,” she laughed, “But I would have liked one more number.”

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