Mega "Mistake" Leads to Million Dollar Jackpot

By Roseanne Colletti and Hasani Gittens
|  Saturday, Sep 25, 2010  |  Updated 8:55 AM EDT
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Mega "Mistake" Leads to Million Dollar Jackpot

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A sole ticket had the right numbers in last night's Mega Millions drawing.

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The winner of last Friday's $54-million lottery made the luckiest mistake of her life.

Garina Fearon, 34, wanted to play "Powerball" but purchased a Mega-million dollar ticket instead last week.

"She made a mistake," said Claudio Guzman, the clerk at the small bodega where Fearon bought the winning ticket -- about a block from her East New York apartment.

The single mom, a jail guard on Rikers Island, credits the Corrections Department job with saving her from financial ruin, according to the New York Post.

"I wanted a better life. I was struggling as a single parent," Fearon told the paper. "I've really come back from nothing."

She has endured both homelessness and bankruptcy in the past. and at one point claims she had only $25 to her name.

Fearon will now have about $30 million before taxes since she has indicated she has decided to take the lump sum winnings.

The new multi-millionaire says she plans to buy a house for her mother, who has diabetes, in her Jamaican homeland, but is uncertain about other expenditures from her new windfall.

"I like her," said Guzman. "I'm glad for her."

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