Pandemonium erupted in front of and inside a Chino Hills, Calif., 7-Eleven store where one of just three winning tickets in Wednesday’s epic $1.5 billion Powerball drawing was sold–and a former Saucon Valley resident was there to capture it all on film.
Raya Coral and her family were Lower Saucon residents until about a year ago, when they relocated to southern California.
Coral, a former Mrs. Lehigh Valley International, said she lives “relatively close to” the 7-Eleven where the winning numbers were sold, and has herself purchased lottery tickets there recently.
In fact, on a different day she said she could have been the person who walked in to claim the winning numbers of 8, 27, 34, 4, 19 and 10.
The identity of that person–and the other two winners, including one person in Florida and one in Tennessee–is still unknown.
The Chino Hills location was the first to have a confirmed sale of a winning ticket, however, and after the news broke that all six of the numbers were sold there, hundreds of people descended on it along with a gaggle of Los Angeles area news media.
News helicopters hovering overhead captured imagery of a parking lot thronged with people who simply wanted to be part of a moment in history, as did Coral.
In video she shot inside the store–which gave away free Slurpees to celebrate the occasion–jubilant residents can be heard shouting “Chino Hills!” as the owner of the 7-Eleven looks on happily.
Others posed for photos with the clerk who sold the winning ticket.
Coral noted that the positive press is a great thing for San Bernardino County–where Chino Hills is located–as it was recently the scene of a tragic mass shooting that captured both national and worldwide media attention.
Putting things in a personal perspective, she said that if she and her family had been the lucky winners of the Powerball lottery, one of their priorities would have been to help others.
“Our plan was every year to adopt a homeless family and provide them a safe house, and to help them get a job and get back on their feet,” she said. “We were also going to start our own 501(3)c and donate 10 percent to a charity of choice per year.”