A La Quinta liquor store sold the $34 million winning ticket for the Mega Millions lottery, the California Lottery announced Saturday.
Murray Morton, owner of La Quinta Liquor & Delicatessen, believes the winner is a "semi-regular" customer.
"I recognize the guy, but I don't know his name," Morton said by phone Saturday afternoon. "I would need counseling if I won $34 million."
The winning numbers 27, 30, 36, 38, 45 and the Mega number 13 were announced Friday. Mega Millions is a multi-state lottery with jackpots that start at $12 million.
Until the winner is fully identified, officials won't know if the ticket was bought for an individual or for a group. There is a 60-day deadline to claim the jackpot.
The La Quinta ticket was the only winner, meaning the liquor store receives all of the $170,000 bonus for selling it.
Morton said he knew Saturday morning that the ticket had been sold in La Quinta, 20 miles southeast of Palm Springs, "but I didn't get too excited" because there are hundreds of area outlets.
Later in the day a lottery official visited Morton and told him his store was the seller. "It's a strange sensation ... all of a sudden you become part of the winner," Morton, 58, of Indian Wells, said by phone.
Morton said the money goes to the store, not the individual. His plans are to "invest it wisely ... you have to put everything in perspective. If you invested that at 4 percent, you can't live on that."
Morton said he has owned the store for 16 years.
On Monday, "It's back to crunching numbers, going to the bank, everything back to normal," he said.
"I just hope that the people who won the money have a great time in life."