New Year's Eve

LA Hairdresser Nearly Gave Away Her $1.3 Million Lotto Ticket

Ligia Dennis decided to keep the ticket, but at first thought she'd only won $1,000

A Los Angeles hairdresser almost missed the jackpot, nearly giving away a winning ticket worth $1.3 million.

Ligia Dennis thought about giving her California Lucky Life Scratcher ticket to a homeless man, but thought better of it. But that wasn't where her good fortune ended, according to a California lottery press release.

Dennis took the ticket to the Van Nuys lottery office the day after Christmas thinking she only won $1,000.

"(The lottery employee) looked at the ticket and was like, 'How much do you think you won again? It's a little more than a thousand dollars,' " Dennis said.

It was worth $1.3 million, paid in weekly installments of $1,000 for 25 years, and Dennis said she was shocked.

The 26-year-old is paying off student loans and catching up on paying her bills, she told the lottery -- she hopes to open her own salon as well, a long-time dream of hers.

The ticket was purchased at Big Jim's Donuts in East Hollywood, which won a $6,500 bonus for selling the ticket.

Dennis's fiance said she almost gave the ticket away.

"This homeless guy asked if he could have some change," her fiance, Tim Ballany, said.

"She was like, 'Maybe I'll just give him my ticket. Maybe he'll win something.' Then she was like, 'You know what? No, let me keep this ticket.' ''

Dennis told the lottery she will consult with a financial adviser before deciding to take the weekly payments or a one-time, pre-tax payout of about $750,000.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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