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San Diego woman claims half-billion dollar Mega Millions ticket

Posted at 2:52 PM, Sep 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-18 10:53:52-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A San Diego woman has come forward as the winner of June's half-billion dollar Mega Millions jackpot.

Laarni Bibal took some time before claiming her $522-million win, according to CA Lottery officials, using the Lottery's Winners Handbook for information on how to navigate the newfound riches.

“My heart started beating really fast!” Bibal said, recalling the moment she saw her ticket's numbers match the drawing.

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Bibal purchased her ticket at Sorrento Deli Mart in Sorrento Valley a day before the June 8 drawing. Her Quick Pick ticket matched the winning numbers 27-68-17-19-40 and the Mega number 2.

The day the winning ticket was revealed, the store's owners told 10News he had, "no idea [who won] ... Hopefully it's a group who won it. Whoever it is, I'm happy for them. And I'm glad it was in our store."

Since the big win, Bibal kept the ticket hidden before coming forward to claim her winnings, telling lottery officials it's, "in a secret hiding place. I can’t tell you. The secret hiding place is still a secret!"

RELATED: San Diego County District Attorney's Office warns of lottery ticket scam

Bibal chose to take the cash option of $340 million (before federal taxes) and Sorrento Deli Mart will receive a $1 million bonus for selling the ticket.

The new multi-millionaire says she plans to pay off her debt and purchase a new home with the money.