Walnut Creek, CA — A northern California Powerball winner lost his fortune yesterday after a single trip to his local Whole Foods Market. 36-year-old Noah Heston of Lafayette, CA, made the mistake of doing his “normal” grocery shopping at the nearby Walnut Creek location, only to learn that a shopping cart’s worth of goods cost him his entire fortune.
Mr. Heston and his wife Carol were avid lottery players; however, they only “played the State games” preferring not to indulge in the national lotteries. That changed last month when the couple bet $70 for 35 Powerball plays.
“We pulled into the Kwik Stop, on account they’ve got the cheapest gas around here,” said Mr. Heston scratching his head, still recovering from his loss. “The wife convinced me to try the Powerball ‘for once.’ So I did, and we won.”
The Hestons matched four plus the Powerball, netting them $24,144. Most of which was spent in one 45 minute Whole Foods session.
“I have to be honest. I wasn’t paying attention,” continued Mr. Heston. “The wife told me to go ahead and splurge. So I did.”
According to part-time Whole Food clerk Casey Conts, she noticed Mr. Heston’s unusual shopping exuberance and counseled him to take it easy.
“I didn’t know what his story was, but I sure recognized the behavior. I’ve seen trust funders and people who recently inherited fortunes jam through their money in just a few aisles. When I approached Mr. Heston to guide him, he told me he knew what he was doing. They all say that.”
Noah’s downfall came quickly. The usually fiscally conservative lottery winner started filling his cart as if it was a shopping spree, loading up on morel mushrooms, emu eggs, a case of saffron, asparagus water, and something called “air plants.” By the time he reached the checkout stand, a small crowd had followed him through the store, marveling at his shopping abandon.
“Jimmie was working the register,” recalled Ms. Conts, “and I walked over to tell him to take it easy on the fella.”
As the cashier rang up the numerous items, Mr. Heston beamed with pride as he struck up several conversations with those around him.
“That will be $23,546.34,” said a cautious Jimmie. “Did you bring your own bags?”
At which point, the color drained from Mr. Heston’s face, and his breathing became pressed and shallow.
“$23,546.34, sir. And did you bring your bags?”
To the surprise of everyone, Mr. Heston whipped out his debit card and paid the entire amount after he regained his composure. He was heard leaving the store shouting, “Carpe Diem.” Mr. Heston didn’t bring his own bags.