Lottery number mixup causes heartbreak in Parlier

FRESNO, Calif.

7-12-19-23-31 and 45. /*Elida Betancourt*/ thought the numbers would change her life. Her son thought otherwise.

Betancourt explained, "He thought I was having a heart attack because of the way I was screaming and crying."

Betancourt's "Mega Millions" ticket matched the numbers she saw in the /*Fresno Bee*/ Wednesday morning. Elida lost her husband Oscar July 27th, the same day great- grandson Jeremiah turned one. The family felt the lottery win was a gift from their father.

Betancourt's daughter Anita Robles said, "She doesn't have to worry about anything anymore - that was my first reaction. Oh my God my dad is watching out for her."

Betancourt found the numbers didn't match those on the "Mega Millions" website. The numbers in the paper were actually from Friday's draw. The 69-year old Parlier woman was not a winner.

Betancourt said, "Oh I didn't know what to think because I was so excited because of all the money and then all of a sudden the numbers were not the ones."

Local /*California Lottery*/ sales manager Sid Ramirez said the latest numbers were faxed to the Fresno Bee at 8:24pm Tuesday night.

Ramirez said, "Evidently from whoever received the information down to the person that sets the print, the print-setter, it didn't make it because they repeated the numbers from the draw on 9/9."

Wednesday afternoon a story on the Fresno bee website said the incorrect "Mega Millions" numbers were published.

Executive editor Betsy Lumbye said, "It was an error and we regret it."

Betancourt called the experience, "Very very painful, very painful. You can imagine that."

Robles added, "You thought you had $54 million to having nothing again. That was difficult."

Instead of thanking their lucky stars Elida Betancourt and her family felt lower than the sagging roof they thought they'd be able to replace.

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