Valerie Hartzell of Bay Point, California, started out with a non-winning ticket. But she didn’t give up hope; Hartzell is a regular player in the 2nd Chance drawings conducted by the California Lottery, so she entered her prize-less ticket for another opportunity. She had a small win when she won the prize of 80 “Strike It Rich!” scratch tickets.
It was on ticket number 5 of those 80 that she hit it big, to the tune of $250,000. “My hands were shaking like a leaf,” recalls Hartzell. “I called my son and he was like, ‘Mom, you’re gonna have a heart attack.’” Hartzell had to deal with stretched nerves all night, until she could claim her winnings at a Lottery District Office the next day.
Hartzell said she has been entering her non-winning tickets into the 2nd Chance drawings for three years, and said she was happy enough winning the pack of 80 scratch tickets. “I didn’t even think this would happen,” she said. She says she and her husband are looking forward to replacing their aged cars. “My daughter tells me my life is looking up.”