1 alleged Powerball win may be a prank - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

1 alleged Powerball win may be a prank

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7-Eleven store clerk M. Faroqui celebrates with customers after learning the store sold a winning Powerball ticket on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016 in Chino Hills, Calif. 7-Eleven store clerk M. Faroqui celebrates with customers after learning the store sold a winning Powerball ticket on Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016 in Chino Hills, Calif.

LOS ANGELES (AP/CBS 8) — Workers celebrated at a Southern California nursing home when word spread that a co-worker had a winning ticket for this week's $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot.

But it didn't take long before several media outlets reported, based on anonymous sources, that the feel-good tale was a prank by the woman's son.

It was one of many reports of scams and pranks in the hours after the record Powerball draw. As lottery players searched online to find out who had bought the three winning tickets, they found a slew of hoaxes, including social media accounts from people saying they had won and promising followers a piece of the prize.

RELATED: Powerball ticket matching five of six numbers sold in Chula Vista

Josh Nass, a spokesman for Brius Healthcare, called news media Thursday to relay the story of a nurse in Pomona, California, winning a share of the jackpot after owner Shlomo Rechnitz bought tickets for his employees. He said he was told the nurse's son sent her a cellphone picture of a ticket.

But the New York Daily News reported the nurse's daughter said it was an embarrassing prank. The Los Angeles Times reported the daughter asked to remain anonymous to avoid drawing more attention to her family.

"If it turns out that her kid was playing a prank on her, then that is absolutely reprehensible and disgusting," Nass said. He added that if it was a prank, Rechnitz has offered the nurse an all-expenses paid resort vacation.

At least a half dozen social media accounts cropped up, with some showing winning tickets from New York and Ohio even though the real winning tickets were sold in Florida, Tennessee and a suburb of Los Angeles.

It's unclear what the accounts are hoping to accomplish, but many had collected thousands of followers.

Those followers can be valuable, whether the scammer wants to promote something, try for personal information or install malware on devices, said National Cyber Security Alliance executive director Michael Kaiser.

Current events tend to gin up these types of scams in the fast-paced world of social media, where people click first and think later, he said.

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From an official Powerball statement, below is a list (as of January 15, 2016, 11am PST) of claimed and unclaimed tickets that matched five of the six numbers from the January 13, 2016 drawing. All tickets are worth $638,146.

Claimed tickets are in in BOLD.

  1. PRIMM VALLEY LOTTO, 15 & STATELINE, NIPTON (San Bernardino County)
  2. 7-ELEVEN, 290 I ST, CHULA VISTA (San Diego County)
  4. CHEVRON #1720, 404 SOQUEL AVE, SANTA CRUZ (Santa Cruz County)
  7. EDEN ROC LIQUOR, 13404 VAN NUYS BLVD, PACOIMA (Los Angeles County)
  8. 7-ELEVEN, 2000 NUT TREE RD, VACAVILLE (Solano County)
  9. QUIK STOP #4141, 601 N CLOVERDALE BLVD, CLOVERDALE (Sonoma County)
  10. 7-ELEVEN, 1601 W REDLANDS BLVD, REDLANDS (San Bernardino County)
  11. TED'S LIQUOR STORE, 18303 S WESTERN AVE, GARDENA (Los Angeles County)
  12. SPOT NOT AUTO WASH & GAS, 15612 ARROW HWY, IRWINDALE (Los Angeles County)


Hartounian reported from Phoenix. Associated Press writers Robert Jablon in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.

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