Zorina Kroop, a 63 year old businesswoman who built up a successful janitorial business, recently cleaned up with a sensational $60 million Mega Millions lottery jackpot win. The draw made on Friday, September 21, 2007 turns the businesswoman into the 22nd Californian lottery millionaire. The winning Mega Millions lottery numbers for the draw were 5, 21, 23, 33, 45 and Mega Number 43. The lucky ticket was purchased at the 7-Eleven in Studio City.
She told reporters of her work life – staring out in bakeries and beauty salons, learning different skills along the way. At one stage she worked in a bank, but became bored and left. She started her own janitorial company about 20 years ago and has developed it into a successful business employing several people.
English-born Zorina attributed her California Mega Millions lottery success to a lucky charm she bought through an ad in the National Enquirer several years ago. The blue dot affixed to a small white card goes everywhere with her. Talking to news crews on Friday, she said the cherished object, which she keeps in her purse at all times, has also seen her through many successful trips to the slot machines in Laughlin, Nevada. And her advice to other would-be winners? "Buy a blue dot, read (the self-help book) `The Secret' and stay positive"
At a news conference for her Mega Millions lottery jackpot win held at the Airtel Plaza Hotel, California Lottery officials presented the new multi-millionaire with an oversize cheque that covered much of her small frame. For days, Zorina’s identity had remained a mystery to officials who only knew someone had purchased the winning Mega Millions lottery ticket at a Studio City 7-Eleven. On the same night as she bought the ticket she was at a party for a new shop opening on Ventura Boulevard completely unaware the Mega Millions lottery jackpot winning ticket was sitting in her bag - which she had left casually under a chair on the floor!
"Imagine," she said, in a faint British accent, "$60 million on the floor."
A few days after the California Mega Millions lottery draw, on a Tuesday, she visited the same 7-Eleven to check her tickets through the stores scanner – having checked the ticket the store assistant asked to speak to her privately. He broke the good news about her having the winning Mega Millions lottery numbers gently “Sit down. You've just won the Mega Millions.” She was reportedly “stunned," and said. "I had to take a tranquilizer, because I was getting palpitations already, I was so excited."
When she woke up the following morning, Zorina said her pet dog, "was sleeping next to me, and I looked at her and I said, 'Chaiya, we're millionaires!' "
In the immediate future there are no plans for the Mega Millions lottery winner from California to sell her janitorial company – it is business as usual for the winner. She has however splashed out on one item. “The first thing I did when I found out I won was instead of buying the Ralphs brand garbage bags," she said, "I bought the Heftys."
She is however looking to travel and meet the 844 cousins and distant relatives she located through an online search. She also has plans for her immediate family too. These include hiring a nurse to help care and look after her elderly mother. Her aunt and uncle are in line for a new condo and she would like to help her son pay off his mortgage. Charitable donations are also secured as Zorina would like to donate money to pancreatic cancer research, the disease that took the life of her husband.
The lucky winner has decided to take the lump sum payment, which after taxes, amounts to just over $30 million for her Mega Millions lottery jackpot. And Shoukat Ali, the franchise owner of the 7-Eleven who sold the ticket containing the Mega Millions lottery winning numbers, will receive a bonus of $300,000. After some of the money is paid to the 7-Eleven corporate owners, he will share the remainder among himself and his team."I'm delighted," he said. "I hope other people win."
California joined the Mega Millions lottery in 2005. Since then, there have been six multimillion-dollar winners statewide.
And the last words (for now) from California’s latest millionaire: "I'm very, very grateful. This is a wonderful country."