Calif. Couple Wins Two Lotteries in One Day

ByABC News

Dec. 12, 2002 -- Can you imagine winning the lottery twice in one day?

Angelo and Maria Gallina don't have to imagine — they hit twice on Nov. 20.

The married couple from Belmont, Calif., had separately bought tickets in two different California state lottery games, and both could hardly believe their eyes as all 11 winning numbers over two games came up.

"The first lottery came up — the Fantasy 5 — and I told my wife I got four numbers," Angelo Gallina told ABCNEWS station KGO-TV in San Francisco. "She said, 'You got five,' so we got excited."

"The same night, the SuperLotto [Plus] came an hour later," he added, "And I said, 'Maria, I got four numbers with the mega.' She says, 'No you got five numbers with the mega!' So that was both jackpots in one night."

The Gallinas won a combined $6.6 million after taxes, and say they are going to buy a new house and new cars with their winnings.

Before taxes, their winnings amounted to $126,000 for the Fantasy 5 and $17 million for the SuperLotto Plus, according to The Associated Press.

Jackpot-Picking Device

According to a story in the online edition of the San Francisco Chronicle, Angelo is a 78-year-old retired railroad machinist and Maria, 65, is a native of Bari, Italy.

Angelo told the paper he has been buying $20 in lottery tickets daily since 1985, and the couple used a gadget with tiny numbered balls purchased at a local drug store to pick their winning numbers.

"You shake it, and then you get two numbers and write it down," he told KGO. "Then, you get another two, and that's six numbers.

"Like I said before, you take the highest number if it's over 47 and put that up to it, and I take the lowest number and I put that in the mega," he added. "If I didn't do that, I wouldn't have won."

‘What Are the Odds?’

Mike Orkin, a professor of statistics at California State University, Hayward, and author of the book What Are the Odds?, told The Associated Press that in this case the odds against winning both lotteries in one day, assuming only two tickets were purchased, are about one in 23 trillion.

Orkin arrived at the number by multiplying the roughly 41-million-to-one odds of winning the SuperLotto game and the 575,000-to-one odds of winning the Fantasy 5 game to arrive at odds of 23,575,000,000,000-to-one.

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