Third Week’s The Charm!

BOISE, Idaho – From a power bill to the Powerball, one lucky Pocatello woman is $150,000 better off for paying her light bill and then checking a recent Idaho Lottery ticket.

For the past three weeks, Sofia Galvan of Pocatello had unknowingly been carrying around a winning Powerball ticket worth $150,000 in the “lucky” envelope of her Idaho Power bill.  Yesterday, after paying her Idaho Power bill, Galvan noticed the unchecked Powerball ticket in the envelope.  She took the ticket to a store and had the clerk check to see if it won.

Sofia Galvan

“I heard the ‘Wooh! Wooh!’ sound and I knew it was a winner,” exclaimed Galvan. “The clerk told me though I needed to claim it in Boise. It was too much for her to pay at the store. I didn’t know how much I’d won. I thought I’d won maybe $700.”

Once Galvan arrived at Lottery Offices in Boise, the true value of her Powerball ticket was learned.  Her $700 winner was actually a big Powerball with PowerPlay winner from the March 31, 2018 draw.

“I found out right here that I won $150,000.  I’m kind of shaking,” she said.

Her ticket matched four of the first five numbers plus the Powerball and had the PowerPlay multiplier.  PowerPlay is an additional $1 per play at the time of purchase and multiplies non-jackpot winning tickets by the multiplier selected for that draw.  On March 31, the multiplier was 3, turning her $50,000 winner into $150,000.

Galvan purchased her winning ticket from the Common Cents Store located on 5th Avenue in Pocatello.  This store is quickly gaining a reputation as the luckiest store in Pocatello.  In the past 18 months, this Common Cents Store has sold two $10,000 winners on the Idaho $1,000,000 Raffle game (one each in 2016 and 2017) plus this Powerball winner for $150,000.   For their part in selling the winning ticket, Common Cents receives a bonus of $15,000.

Galvan plans to use her winnings to improve her personal vehicle situation and perhaps get some furniture with her winnings.

Eastern Idaho boasted a second winner following Galvan today when Joy Anderson of Arco won $10,000 on a Big Dang Deal scratch ticket. She purchased her ticket at Jack’s Travel Plaza in Arco.

Joy Anderson

No Monsters Under This Bed!

Over the years, the Idaho Lottery has heard some unique tales of where folks have kept big winning tickets before claiming them.  The refrigerator and portable fire proof safes come to mind.  We’ve also heard of folks keeping the ticket in the visor of their truck, or in the glove box of their car.  It almost seems cliché to think people actually keep money under the mattress.  Almost.

Congratulations to Crystal Machuca from Caldwell who won $100,000 on the game Mega Money Fall Cashword!


According to Crystal, she purchased the ticket a few days ago but didn’t play it right away. Instead, she stashed the ticket in her mattress until playing it.  Once she did play it, she thought it was a mistake when she had uncovered all those words.

“I checked the ticket on the Lottery check-a-ticket app first. And it said I had to claim it at the Lottery,” described Crystal on how she determined it was a winner. “Then I took it back to the store and had the clerk check it.  She told me I needed to claim at the Lottery.  I didn’t believe it.”

Crystal claimed her $100,000 top prize alongside her husband Alfredo who plays more than she does.  “I’m always giving him a bad time for playing and then I go and win big,” teased Crystal.

Her winning ticket was sold from the Walmart Neighborhood Market on Ustick in Caldwell.  Crystal plans to put her winnings toward paying her house.

Clearly, April is a Month for Winning!


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News Around the Nation – April Newsletter




Powerball Winner Claims $559 Million Prize & Announces $250,000 in Charitable Donations


The winner of a $559.7 million New Hampshire Powerball jackpot claimed her prize and donated a combined $250,000 to Girls Inc. of New Hampshire and three chapters of End 68 Hours of Hunger. The winner claimed the $559.7 million prize—the sixth-largest Powerball jackpot in history—through the Good Karma Family, 2018 Nominee Trust facilitated by the law firm of Shaheen & Gordon, P.A with William Shaheen serving as trustee.

The winner had two options, taking a lump-sum cash payment of approximately $352 million or an annuity payment over 30 years. The winner opted for the one-time cash payment, which netted her $264 million after federal taxes were withheld.
The winning Powerball ticket was sold at Reed’s Ferry Market in Merrimack, New Hampshire for the January 6 drawing.

“The New Hampshire Lottery is excited to award yet another Powerball jackpot to our very fortunate Granite State residents,” said Charlie McIntyre, executive director of the New Hampshire Lottery. “We know the winner’s heart is in the right place. These substantial donations are an indication of her generosity and they will make a significant difference in the lives of many throughout our community.”

With representatives from each nonprofit on hand at the press conference, the Good Karma Family 2018 Nominee Trust presented the following donations:

  • $150,000 – Girls Inc. of New Hampshire
  • $33,000 – End 68 Hours of Hunger – Nashua
  • $33,000 – End 68 Hours of Hunger – Dover
  • $33,000 – End 68 Hours of Hunger – Derry


NH Winner Photo.png



Lotto America Jackpot Winner


A brother and sister from Badger, Minnesota have a long-standing agreement that if “one wins, we both win”—and a Lotto America jackpot worth $22.8 million was no exception.

Debbie Kujava purchased the $22.8 million winning ticket for the March 14 drawing at Holiday Station stores in Roseau, Minnesota on her way home from work on March 12.

The morning after the draw, Debbie checked her ticket and noticed the numbers were a perfect match. She initially thought their ticket was worth $2 million so she went over to her brother Dennis’s house and said, “We’re millionaires!”

Dennis was a little skeptical of the news at first. “Well she does play tricks on me,” he said. “But I normally wouldn’t be at his house at 8 a.m.” replied Debbie. It wasn’t until Denise, Dennis’s daughter, looked online that they discovered their ticket was actually worth $22.8 million.

The brother-sister duo and Dennis’s two adult daughters, Denise Kujava and Deanna Kujava, are all sharing a portion of the $13.5 million cash option ($9.4 million after required tax withholdings).

While the family has had fun dreaming about the possibilities of what their new-found wealth could bring, they remain undecided on their plans-—except for one thing: Debbie was excited to retire from her job as an LPN!

 MN Lotto America Winners.png



Lincoln County Resident Cashes In Lost $1 Million Ticket


A Lincoln County resident had his faith in humanity restored this week when he unknowingly lost his Mega Millions ticket worth one million dollars.  The workers and owner at a gas station in Salina hunted the man down and returned his ticket to him hours later!

The winner was in a hurry to get back home to watch March Madness basketball and stopped to get gas in Salina. “My brother went in to check my tickets. He apparently dropped the unsigned Mega Millions ticket, and then we left to go back home.”

The clerks at the Pit Stop Gas Station noticed the lost ticket and decided to scan it to see if they should try to contact the man who dropped it. When they saw that the ticket matched all five numbers but not the Megaball, they knew what the ticket was worth and immediately called the store owner. The owner’s son came to the store to help get the winning ticket back to the rightful owner.

“We had already been home for about an hour, and then went out and ran another errand. As we passed the store, the owner’s son pulled out behind us and flagged us down. He explained what happened and handed me the ticket, and I just couldn’t believe it!” said the winner.

The now-signed ticket was brought into the Topeka office the winner is now $1 million richer thanks to the good deeds of a Kansas Lottery retailer!



News Around Idaho – April Newsletter


Idaho has had plenty of winners this month, from our border with Utah all the way to our border with Canada.  And be sure to check out the gallery of Cash Blast Winners, too!  Here are some of the more memorable winners over the last few weeks:



Kathleen Uglade won the final top prize on the Scratch Game Big Bad Bingo!  Her $50,000 winning ticket matches her winning smile.  She bought her lucky ticket from the Oasis at the corner of Washington and Addison in Twin Falls!




Give a big shout and hooray for Robert Robertson of Bonners Ferry.  Robertson won the last top prize of $10,000 on the holiday-themed Scratch Game Polar Bear Bucks.  The lucky winning ticket was purchased from the South Hill Mini Mart in Post Falls.

Winning regally on the Scratch Game Regal Riches is Ginder Pal from Coeur d’Alene.  Pal won $5,000 on a ticket she purchased at Best Food Stop in east Coeur d’Alene.



Congratulations to Maria Irene Palacios of Idaho Falls for winning the top prize of $30,000 on the Scratch Game Slingo Jewels!  Maria bought her big winning ticket at the Albertsons on Broadway just west of I-15 in Idaho Falls.




Winning $5,000 is something you could sink your teeth into.  Especially when the winning ticket is bought from the Chat ‘n Chew in Malad!  Congratulations to Carol Jennings from Kaysville, Utah for her big on the Jewels Super Ticket!



Cashing in on $5,000 was Husein Sakanovic of Meridian.  He won his big prize playing $250,000 Casino Nights on a ticket he purchased from the DreamTouch vending machine at Fred Meyer on Fairview in Meridian!  Congratulation Husein.



Eastern Idaho is the hot place to be if you were a big Lottery winner in late January and February.   Of the seventeen winners who claimed a prize of more than $5,000 during this time, five of them were from eastern Idaho.

Frank LavattaThere’s a related story about Frank Lavatta of Blackfoot who won $30,000 on Mega Millions.  In addition to him, the final Harley Davidson motorcycle winner was sold at the Maverik on Bridge Street in Blackfoot.

But the winning wasn’t confined just to Blackfoot, either.  A Big Money Jackpot winner worth $207,815 was sold at the Midget Market in Idaho Falls.  One of the $100,000 top prizes from the game Fame & Fortune was sold from the Albertsons on W. Broadway in Idaho Falls.

And rounding out eastern Idaho’s luck this past month was a $5,000 winner on the game $300,000 Exclusive sold to and claimed by Leo Hoffman of Chubbuck. His winning ticket came from the Maverik located I-15 and the Center Street Exit in Pocatello.

Congratulations eastern Idaho on all of your really big wins!