The woman who went on TV claiming to be the latest Los Angeles Powerball winner is a fraud who “just wanted to be on the news,” DailyMail.com can reveal.
Footage of the ‘hysterical’ woman walking into Las Palmitas Mini Mart, a small East Los Angeles bodega that sold the $1.08 billion lucky ticket, went viral after it was featured on local news channel KTLA last night.
But DailyMail.com can reveal that the real winner is yet to come forward with Sarai Palacios, the 52-year-old granddaughter of bodega owner Nabor Herrera, telling DailyMail.com the woman hasn’t won anything.
When shown footage of the fake winner’s celebrations, she said: “She didn’t win, I’m not sure why she did that.” I guess she just wanted to be on TV.
The alleged Powerball winner filmed sobbing while claiming to be the Powerball winner at Las Palmitas Mini Mart in East LA on Thursday is a fraud ‘who wanted to be on TV’, DailyMail.com has learned
The apparent newly-made billionaire reacted hysterically, struggling to speak through tears as she told stunned onlookers that she had won her life-changing sum.
Speaking to DailyMail.com on Friday, Sarai Palacios (far right), the granddaughter of store manager Navor Herrera (left with his wife and store owner María Menjivar and their family) confirmed that the woman is not the real winner, whose identity remains a mystery and has yet to be revealed.
‘We still don’t know who the winner is. They haven’t shown up yet.
The massive $1.08 billion win means the de Palacios family is now in line for a $1 million windfall, which his grandfather has already said he plans to spend on a luxury vacation and a college fund.
Herrera was not in the store when DailyMail.com visited, but told KTLA yesterday that she had no idea she had sold the winning ticket until she arrived at the store Thursday morning to find reporters waiting outside.
The Salvadoran father of four said: ‘I tell you, it’s a surprise to me, I didn’t know what it is, filming or what.’
He also told the network that he had sold several tickets in the days leading up to Wednesday’s drawing, mostly to locals who live in the neighborhood that adjoins Los Angeles’ infamous Skid Row.
One person he didn’t sell a ticket to was the woman who appeared at the market on Thursday afternoon claiming to be the winner.
Bizarre footage shows the ecstatic woman even collapsing to her knees in the shop doorway at one point.
The big $1.08 billion win means Nabor and his family are now in line for a $1 million windfall.
Bizarre footage shows the woman, wearing a black cap emblazoned with a slogan reading “psychedelic water,” stumbling through the store and crying.
When asked by a reporter if she was the winner, the woman squealed with joy and claimed to have won the life-changing sum.
She continued, “I’m scared right now, I’m so scared” before adding “God bless you” as she hugged several people in the store.
Pressed as to whether she is the Powerball winner, the woman tearfully replied “yes” before running down the street as cameras chased her.
She can then be heard saying ‘I need to find him’ as she ran away and got into a dark BMW.
Although the woman caught on camera is not the lucky ticket holder, the big win makes it the second time an Angeleno has scooped the top prize in the past year.
The Las Palmitas Mini Market in downtown Los Angeles where the winning Powerball lottery ticket was sold, with an estimated value of $1.08 billion.
California Lottery officials previously confirmed that Las Palmitas Mini Market is the store where the winning ticket was sold, near the Skid Row homeless encampments and just 13 miles from the establishment where Edwin Castro won $2.08 billion in November.
Last November, Edwin Castro, 31, won an even bigger $2.04 billion jackpot and bought his ticket at a store 13 miles from Herera’s Pasadena winery.
Castro, who opted to accept a one-time payment totaling $997.6 million, has since traded his modest suburban home for a Hollywood mansion, but is also facing a lawsuit from a man named José Rivera who claims he is the real winner of the money.
Rivera claims that his landlord, Urachi Romero, stole it from him and tried to blackmail him into returning it.
Refusing to give in to the blackmail, he says Castro took the winnings but did not explain how he came to possess the golden ticket.
Wednesday’s winner now has the option to receive the $1.08 billion paid out in annual increments over 29 years, or a lump sum of $558.1 million before taxes.