Nursing home nurse misidentified as Powerball winner

It sounded as if a long-term care fairy tale had come to life: A senior registered nurse at a California nursing home wins part of the biggest lottery jackpot in history — and she does it through the generosity of a boss plagued by scandal.

Shlomo Rechnitz, who owns Brius Healthcare Services and who most recently was in the news when the FBI raided one of his facilities, reportedly bought 18,000 Powerball tickets for employees and patients. Each ticket came with a note from Rechnitz that read, “We'll provide the ticket. You provide the dream,” a spokesman told The Jerusalem Post.

That's where the story grows hazy: The nurse was said to be at the facility, the Park Avenue Healthcare and Wellness Center in Pomona, when the numbers were announced. That's when her son sent her a photo of the winning ticket, according to published reports.

He had pranked his mother.

It was all an embarrassing misunderstanding, the woman's daughter told the Los Angeles Times, asking that the family not be identified. Accounts of the nurse's apparent jackpot win had spread like wildfire, especially in New York, California and Jerusalem, before her daughter extinguished them via the Times.

While it's unclear what punishment the son might receive from his mother and other loved ones, the family is in good company, with plenty of others falsely claiming they had won at least a piece of the $1.5 billion Powerball jackpot. Lottery officials, as of very late Thursday night, had not identified any of the three winners.

Although one of Rechnitz's employees may not have procured a winning ticket, the non-event was a silver lining for the embattled operator, who received loads of positive press.