Garina Fearon, a prison guard at Rikers Island who at one time was homeless and a robbery victim, has revealed that she was the winner of last Friday’s Mega Millions drawing.
Fearon, a single mom, was also bankrupt at one point and has endured a lifetime of near-poverty.
“I wanted a better life. I was struggling as a single parent,” said Fearon, 34, yesterday. “I’ve really come back from nothing.”
Incredibly, Fearon was down to her last $25 just six years ago and had to file for bankruptcy protection. Two years later, her apartment was robbed by burglars while she was at work.
As a prison guard, she has endured horrible treatment from the prisoners, at one point having feces thrown on her face and uniform.
What’s more, Fearon says she bought the wrong ticket on Friday when she meant to play Powerball, not Mega Millions.
She didn’t realize she was the winner until she asked a co-worker for a newspaper on Monday when her shift ended. She put two and two together while she was waiting for the bus.
“I was about to fold up the lottery ticket,” Fearon said. “Then I saw the numbers, and I started running from one part of the parking lot to the other screaming.”
The reality still hasn’t sunk in.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do,” she said. “It’s something unexpected.”