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Nov. 5, 2012 at 6:30 AM   |   Comments

Lotto winner almost misses payout

VICTORVILLE, Calif., Nov. 4 (UPI) -- Lottery officials tracked down a California woman who failed to claim a prize of $23 million for five months.

Julie Cervera, 69, came forward to claim her prize Thursday, although her winning ticket was bought on May 30, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Cervera said she had her daughter, Charliena Marquez, pick up the ticket May 30 at a Palmdale liquor store. Cervera put the California Super Lotto Plus in the glove compartment of her car and forgot about it.

After the winning ticket holder failed to come forward, lottery officials began tracking her down. Knowing which store winning ticket was sold at, they reviewed footage from the store's security camera and captured a grainy image of Marquez in the store.

The image was then put on TV and in newspapers and Marquez began receiving phone calls about the ticket.

Marquez said at first she did not believe it was her, but then remembered buying the ticket for her mother.

She quickly informed her mother, who remembered exactly where she put the ticket. "I know where I put my junk," Cervera said.

Cervera said she plans on sharing her winnings with her family.


Bookie ends bet on presidential election

DUBLIN, Ireland, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- An Irish betting company called Paddy Power is already paying out to gamblers who bet on President Barack Obama to win the U.S. election.

Despite polls showing Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney virtually tied, Paddy Power is paying out a total of more than $800,000 to those who bet on Obama, believing that he will win the race, the company said in a release.

A Paddy Power spokesperson said: "Romney gave it a good shot and is doing well in the popular vote, but we suspect he's had his moment in the sun and is likely to be remembered more for his legendary gaffes than presidential potential. The overall betting trend has shown one way traffic for Obama and punters seemed to have called it 100 percent correct. Despite Romney appealing to the large evangelical and senior vote, America's sticking with black and cool."


Mr. Burns of 'Simpsons' fame backs Romney

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- U.S. Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has at least two votes from Springfield, the cartoon town where "The Simpsons" live.

A video posted Thursday on YouTube revealed that Montgomery Burns -- the skinflint owner of the nuclear power plant where Homer Simpson works and goofs off -- is voting for Romney, The Hill reported. The clip showed Burns at the Republican Party headquarters in Springfield, with a sign that say "We win in 2012 or your money back."

Homer Simpson himself was shown voting for Romney a few weeks ago. Most members of the Simpson family are too young to vote even though they have been on television for 25 years.


Middle-age middleweight thwarts thief

DETROIT, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- A 22-year-old man made the mistake of trying to rob a former middleweight boxer more than twice his age, prosecutors in Detroit said.

Brian Hardman was ordered to stand trial at a hearing Friday, The Detroit News reported. He was arrested after his confrontation with Leonard Turner, 47, who was a boxer at Kronk Gym in his younger days.

Turner testified at the hearing that he was putting air in a tire at a gas station just before midnight Oct. 6 when a man approached him.

The man displayed a gun, demanded money and ordered Turner to get a passenger out of his car.

"I grabbed his arm and threw him to the ground," Turner said.

Turner said he then got hold of his assailant's trigger finger and shot off the gun until it had no bullets left. When the man demanded the gun, he hit him with it.

Judge Shannon Holmes rejected an argument by Hardman's lawyer that he should not be charged with carjacking because he did not have the gun.

"The reason he didn't have the gun on him is because the defendant got his butt whipped, and Mr. Turner took the gun from him," the judge said.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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