Penaloza recently won $1 million on a California Lottery Scratcher ticket that she purchased in West Covina, lottery officials said.
Just days before she won the big prize, her family says her hands began to itch.
“You know that superstition where when your hands get itchy, it means you’re going to get money? She said she felt that the week before she won,” Penaloza’s daughter, Ariana, told the California Lottery. “She thinks it was fate.”
According to her daughter, neither of them initially believed they had won, so they went back to the 7-Eleven the following day to scan the ticket.
That’s when it finally sunk in.
“We walked home and were like ‘Oh my,’” Ariana said. “My mom now wants to buy a house.”
Ariana said her mother immigrated to the United States, in part, to give her children a great education, so she was “elated” to learn that buying lottery tickets helps raise money for public schools, officials said.
“She’s happy that she’s able to help school kids,” Ariana said.
Penaloza joins several other recent California Lottery winners in the millionaire club.
Albert Miranda won $5 million playing 100X Scratchers from a ticket purchased at Trade Wind Liquor in Gardena, lottery officials said. Rochelle Gardeley won $5 million playing a 2023 Scratchers ticket purchased at Cat’s Market and Deli in Lompoc. And in Northern California, Tomas Herrera won $1 million playing the Xtreme Multiplier Scratchers game from a ticket he bought at a Circle K/Valero gas station in Fairfield.
She isn’t the first to get lucky after feeling itchy hands. Earlier this year, a North Carolina man with an itchy hand purchased a scratch-off that scored him a $200,000 prize. A Kansas couple won $50,000 while playing Powerball after joking about the itchy palms one of them was experiencing before the drawing in 2021.