Nineveh Cannavino, a Temecula mom of six, is a practicing medium whose premonition about a big win came true while visiting Pechanga Resort Casino. She won $112,101.73 there playing the Happy Lantern Lightning Link progressive slot machine on Feb. 19.
After she played for about an hour that Sunday evening before Presidents Day, 15 lanterns on the machine lined up and lit up, heralding her big win. Cannavino told California Casinos that she almost fainted on realizing her great luck.
Winner says she felt a ‘pull’
There are more than 60 California casinos, all of them owned and operated by Native American tribes. The Pechanga Band of Luiseño Mission Indians operates the casino in Temecula, a city between Los Angeles and San Diego.
Cannavino said she felt she would win a few days before visiting Pechanga. She just didn’t know exactly when. She describes her premonitions as “energetic pulls.”
Pechanga Resort Casino spokesperson Ciara Green said Cannavino had a “pull” just before her winning pull.
“She said she felt a premonition like something was about to happen. The spotlight shined on that feeling as the lucky lantern grand progressive flashed across the screen on her next spin.”
Cannavino plans to split winnings with her kids
Cannavino’s husband wasn’t with her at Pechanga at the time of her win. He thought she was playing a joke on him when she phoned with the news. Still, he has learned the hard way to support her premonitions.
About eight years ago at The Mirage in Las Vegas, Cannavino had a premonition as she and her husband walked past some progressive slot machines. She requested $20 from him. He declined, wanting to get to dinner. A man playing nearby overheard them discussing the machine in question and moved to it quickly. He immediately won $125,000.
Her husband doesn’t refuse her money anymore, she laughed.
Cannavino’s first thoughts upon winning on Feb. 19 went to her loved ones, especially her late father. He’d told her years ago that he knew she would hit for something big someday. She said she was sad that he couldn’t celebrate with her. She plans to split some of her windfall with her six children, who range in age from 5-21.
Other recent big California wins
Penny slots from Heaven?
In August 2022 at Thunder Valley Casino Resort in Lincoln, Roberto Arcueno won $1.5 million playing a Dancing Drums Explosion progressive penny slot game.
In June 2022, Kristine Wellenstein stepped forward as the sole winner of a $426 million Mega Millions jackpot. After purchasing her lucky ticket for $20 at a Chevron station in Woodland Hills, she matched all six of the numbers drawn on Jan. 28. She ultimately chose a lump sum payment.
Wellenstein told California Lottery that in the swirl of emotions accompanying her huge win, she mostly felt gratitude.
“I want to give back and support local and global-based initiatives, and my team is in place to help achieve those objectives. The real impact of my life’s work begins now.”
The greatest win of all (so far)
Edwin Castro’s gigantic win of the record-setting $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot has topped all others that came before. The drawing originally scheduled for Nov. 7, 2022, happened the next day due to technical glitches. Castro laid low for a few months, as big winners sometimes do for various reasons, including not wanting publicity or wanting time to consult with a financial planner.
Castro finally went public with his jackpot claim a few weeks ago on Valentine’s Day, taking the $997.6 million lump sum. In a way, Castro (and Wellenstein) won twice since no state taxes get taken out of California Lottery wins. The federal government, however, takes its cut.
Castro’s silver lining may have a cloud. Jose Rivera claims to be the rightful owner of the winning Powerball ticket. He has brought a lawsuit against Castro, filed at Los Angeles Superior Court. The California Lottery, however, stands 100% behind Castro as the winner.
Pechanga is No. 2 in the state for the most slots
Pechanga Resort Casino has 5,400 slot machines. That’s the second most machines on one casino property in California, according to CaliforniaSlots.com.
The resort also boasts:
- 200,000 square-foot casino floor, the largest in the state
- 152 table games
- 38 tables in a non-smoking poker room
- 700-seat bingo venue