• FAMILY CASHES $1M LOTTERY TICKET ON CHRISTMAS EVE: LOS ANGELES (AP) — A family has cashed in on a $1 million gift this Christmas after a California dad bought a winning lottery scratcher ticket.
Francisco Rios bought two $10 Fortune Scratchers tickets at 7 & 7 Liquor in Van Nuys on Sunday, and the first one didn’t win anything.
But the second one revealed a million-dollar win. Rios says when he called his wife to say he’d hit the big one, she didn’t believe him.
She changed her tune after Rios accepted a jumbo check at the lottery’s Van Nuys office on Christmas Eve.
The odds on winning the top prize with the oversized $1,000,000 scratcher are 1 in 1.2 million.
• ANTI-TOY GUN CAMPAIGN RE-LAUNCHED AFTER TRAGEDY: SANTA MONICA (AP) — A crusade against toy guns that began in 1987 is being re-launched following the elementary school shooting in Connecticut that left dozens dead.
Santa Monica activist Jerry Rubin says a personalized merit award will be sent to children who write to him about why they don’t like playing with toy guns.
Rubin says his anti-toy gun project used to reward children who sent in their toy guns with teddy bears in exchange, but stopped after he ran out of the 5,000 donated stuffed animals.
Less than two weeks ago, 20 children and six adults were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.
Over the years, Rubin’s grassroots campaigns against violence and in favor of environmental causes have made him a familiar figure in Southern California news.
• HIKER RESCUED AFTER DAYS IN NORCAL WILDERNESS: CHICO (AP) — Authorities say a hiker rescued after being stranded in the snow for days in the Northern California wilderness would not have survived if he hadn’t found a cabin and broken into it.
The Chico Enterprise Record reports that 27-year-old Robert Marmon was spotted by a Butte County sheriff’s helicopter Monday afternoon near Philbrook Reservoir in the Lassen National Forest. He was secured to a rope and lifted out.
The Chico resident set off for a hike on Wednesday before getting caught in the snow. He told the Enterprise Record he spent three nights in his tent before finding the cabin on Saturday.
The cabin had a fireplace and firewood.
Incident Commander Lt. Dan Newman says using the cabin for shelter saved Newman’s life.