Thursday, January 14, 2016

Nursing home boss bought winning Powerball ticket for worker 

Managers at a California nursing home said they have the best boss ever -— claiming that one of the 18,000 Powerball tickets he bought for employees and patients won a split of the $1.5 billion jackpot for a senior nurse.

The apparent lottery miracle played out at the Park Avenue Healthcare & Wellness Centre in Pomona, a short drive from the 7-Eleven where one of the three winning tickets were bought for Wednesday night's drawing.

The other two were sold in Tennessee and Florida, where no winners have been identified.

Workers at the nursing home — with the exception of the winner — gathered around a television to watch the live drawing while clutching the tickets purchased for them by chain owner Shlomo Rechnitz, sad David Levy, senior manager for the center.

About 30 minutes later, the big winner's kids called and told her to check her numbers.

"Her reaction was that she didn't believe it. She then pulled out her ticket and reviewed it with two other nurses — number by number," said Levy. "And then she freaked out."

Levy, who did not see the winning numbers himself, described the winner as a 62-year-old married mom of seven kids — six of them nurses themselves.

Despite the windfall, she finished her shift and didn't go home until 11:30 p.m., according to Levy.

"Oh my gosh it couldn't have happened to a better person," Levy said. "There's no sweeter person, she's the first person you see (when entering the nursing home)."

The Pomona facility received 600 tickets — one line of numbers on each ticket — via FedEx on Wednesday morning and staffers spent much of the day passing them out to workers and clients.

Chain owner Rechnitz is prone to acts of random, eccentric kindness, Levy said.

Rechnitz ran into 400 US servicemen in the airport in Shannon, Ireland, this past November and handed each one of them $50 to buy themselves a warm meal, People magazine reported.

But he is also the target of federal investigators who raided one of his facilities in Riverside this past October. The FBI confirmed an investigation but declined to elaborate.

 He was out of the country and unavailable for comment on Thursday.

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