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Calif. man claims half of $333M Mega Millions lottery jackpot

Mega MillionsMega Millions: Calif. man claims half of $333M Mega Millions lottery jackpot
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A Southern California man has claimed one half of the $333 million Mega Millions lottery jackpot.

The California Lottery said Wednesday that Kevyn Ogawa had the winning numbers for the August 28th drawing. He took the cash option, meaning he'll take home about $107 million.

Lottery officials say Ogawa, who preferred not to be interviewed, went to the Van Nuys lottery office Wednesday to claim his prize.

He bought his ticket from an Asian noodle shop in San Gabriel. The business will receive a bonus of $832,500 for selling the winning ticket.

The other winning ticket was sold in New York, and was claimed earlier this week.

Mega Millions is a multi-state game played in 12 states.

Noodle shop that sold lottery ticket basks in the rich broth of fame

Kim Ky Noodle House in San Gabriel is best known for its simple and affordable fare. A bowl of noodles goes for less than $5.

But after a customer purchased a winning lottery ticket there last week worth $166.5 million — the second-biggest Mega Millions jackpot in California history — the restaurant became an instant landmark.

"People from Monrovia, L.A., even San Francisco called to get our address," restaurant manager Linda Wong said during the lunch rush Tuesday. "They say, 'I never heard of you before.' They don't even know what we sell. They just want our address and directions."

California Lottery spokesman Alex Traverso said Kevyn Ogawa, 33, of the San Fernando Valley claimed his prize in the multi-state game on Tuesday. Ogawa told officials he did not want to be interviewed.

The odds of winning Friday's jackpot was one in 176 million, state officials said. What made the win even sweeter for Ogawa was that he bought only one lottery ticket, for a dollar.

"That's about the biggest return on investment of any winner," Traverso said. The winning combination was 37, 1, 17, 31, 54 and mega number 31.

But Kim Ky Noodle House is the other big winner. The little neighborhood restaurant is enjoying its newfound popularity.

Inside the bustling eatery, with its East-meets-West decor of Christmas tree ornaments dangling from the ceiling and Chinese-language karaoke blasting from TVs, customers slurped pasta thick and thin this week and gossiped about the big win. The restaurant's owners taped posters inscribed with the nine-figure jackpot on all the mirrored walls.

"Makes me sick to see that sign," said David Tran, 28, of Alhambra, pulling at his skinny egg noodles with chopsticks. "I bought a ticket a week ago. That could have been me!"

Cinthia Lynn of Arcadia said she had just picked up her sister at the airport and drove her straight to her favorite noodle shop.

Lynn recounted how she had plunked down five bucks there last week for lottery tickets.

"I didn't win," she said. "Not even $1 million."

But she did win sister Yen Tran's approval for picking Kim Ky's for lunch. Tran had flown in from Vietnam a few hours earlier and for her first meal in the U.S. ordered a bowl of rice porridge, a typical Asian breakfast. It made her feel right at home, except for the portion, which was typically American.

"It's big," she said.

Some people were more interested in getting rich than getting fed.

"I already ate," said Richard Yeh, 50, who pushed through the front door and headed straight to the cashier to buy his tickets. "It could happen again," he said. "The god of good fortune is here. Do you believe it?"

Jessie Mendez, 68, a retired plant worker for GM, said he had never eaten at Kim Ky's. But he comes a few times a week just to try his luck with the lottery.

"I spent $392 yesterday," Mendez said. "I got nothing. I've been playing 35 years."

When they opened for business in 2001, the owners of the noodle house said, all they wanted was the chance to make an honest living, one bowl at a time. They were as surprised as anyone when Ogawa's big jackpot was traced back to their restaurant.

"That person is really lucky," said Vin Lay, 55, a Cambodian Chinese immigrant and one of the five owners.

Lay fled the "killing fields" of Cambodia before immigrating to the U.S. in 1981; the others are Vietnamese Chinese who fled Vietnam after the fall of Saigon in 1975.

The owners will split a bonus of $832,500 for selling the winning ticket. They plan to celebrate today by giving away free lottery tickets to all their customers.

AP, LA Times, Lottery Post Staff

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18 comments. Last comment 5 years ago by Halle99.
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RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
mid-Ohio
United States
Member #9
March 24, 2001
18110 Posts
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Posted: September 4, 2009, 11:00 am - IP Logged

The owners will split a bonus of $832,500 for selling the winning ticket.

That's the largest amount that I've ever heard of a retailer getting for selling the winning lottery ticket.

Congratulations to the winner and the noodle shop owners.

* you don't need more tickets, just the right ticket * 
* your best chance at winning a lottery jackpot is to buy a ticket * 
"I will magically reveal the winning numbers after the drawing"
Evil Looking       

    ThatScaryChick's avatar - 61A4sr9 jpg?1
    Idaho
    United States
    Member #56506
    November 21, 2007
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    Posted: September 4, 2009, 1:47 pm - IP Logged

    Yeah RJOh, I have never heard of store owners getting that much either. I thought the that the stores usual got between $10,000 to $50,000 for selling a winning ticket. Either way, congrats to the winner and the store owners. They must be feeling really good at the moment.

    "No one remembers the person who almost climbed the mountain, only the person who eventually gets to the top."

      Avatar
      Any town, USA
      United States
      Member #46729
      September 25, 2006
      112 Posts
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      Posted: September 4, 2009, 1:58 pm - IP Logged

      What made the win even sweeter for Ogawa was that he bought only one lottery ticket, for a dollar.

      After reading stories of winners who say that statement, I will never spend more than $2 or $3, no matter how big the jackpot gets.  It is just a waste to spend, and probably lose, more than that on lottery ticket, in my own opinion of course.

        Dollar419's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
        Santa Ana
        United States
        Member #71159
        February 20, 2009
        651 Posts
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        Posted: September 4, 2009, 2:54 pm - IP Logged

        There was a short newspaper article along with a photo of the restaurant in the L.A. Times on 9/3/09--talk about LUCK OF THE DRAWWink

        CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNER AND KIM KY NOODLE HOUSE Hurray!

          Avatar
          New Member
          san jose, Ca.
          United States
          Member #7838
          October 14, 2004
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          Posted: September 4, 2009, 2:58 pm - IP Logged

          107 million, instant ripp off to the winner

            x1kosmic's avatar - neptune vg2.gif

            United States
            Member #48046
            December 7, 2006
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            Posted: September 4, 2009, 3:41 pm - IP Logged

            I was hoping it would be a California member

                like mabey  member       bytheshore

            Anyway  like scary said,  I'll bet they're feeling real good

              a noodle shop...... who woulda thunk it.

                 I guess that ends Mega-Fever till next time.

              wizeguy's avatar - animaniacs04

              United States
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              May 10, 2005
              390 Posts
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              Posted: September 4, 2009, 5:30 pm - IP Logged

              I was hoping it would be a California member

                  like mabey  member       bytheshore

              Anyway  like scary said,  I'll bet they're feeling real good

                a noodle shop...... who woulda thunk it.

                   I guess that ends Mega-Fever till next time.

              Congrats to Me Ogawa. It's next time already here for Mega-Fever! I have my $1 ticket for this evening. Thumbs Up

                barbos's avatar - gold bar-and-cash1.jpg
                California
                United States
                Member #23908
                October 17, 2005
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                Posted: September 4, 2009, 5:39 pm - IP Logged

                The owners will split a bonus of $832,500 for selling the winning ticket.

                That's the largest amount that I've ever heard of a retailer getting for selling the winning lottery ticket.

                Congratulations to the winner and the noodle shop owners.

                   That is not the largest one - the Anaheim business that sold  $315M ticket to "lucky 7" group received             a $1 000 000 bonus.

                  Californian rules give retailer 0,5% of the jackpot ticket sold but the maximum amount has a $1 000 000 cap. So any retailer who sells a winning ticket for $200M or above gets his million.  Of course it would be the business owner not the guy at the counter.

                  time*treat's avatar - radar

                  United States
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                  March 30, 2005
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                  Posted: September 4, 2009, 7:28 pm - IP Logged

                  "I spent $392 yesterday," Mendez said. "I got nothing. I've been playing 35 years."

                   No Pity!

                  In neo-conned Amerika, bank robs you.
                  Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms should be the name of a convenience store, not a govnoment agency.

                    Avatar

                    United States
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                    January 23, 2005
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                    Posted: September 4, 2009, 10:08 pm - IP Logged

                    1. AS I PREDICTED, there was immediately another winner (in GA) on the next drawing for $12 million. Although, the bonus ball 19 and not 10 as I had thought.

                    2. Sidebar: what is the most unusual place you have seen a Lottery terminal? I would vote for a nail salon in the Rockaway Mall #1 and this noodle joint as #2.

                    3. Why's that dude sawing his guitar??

                    4. If it's QP, then whoever pushed the key on the terminal at exactly the right instant when the RNG had the winning set, should get a bonus.

                    5. On major jackpots usually much more people played many tickets. Thus it's possible but rare for the winner to have bought one ticket. Also why so often the winner is a group. The odds are better with more tickets, that's just a hard reality, but a good enough algorithm can make a few tickets have the same chance as a tall stack of QP.

                      dk1421's avatar - Lottery-024.jpg
                      North Carolina
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                      Posted: September 4, 2009, 11:54 pm - IP Logged

                      What I like about this story is that the shop is giving away free lottery tickets on one day to celebrate! Which is great PR for them whether another person wins or not.

                      This is the first I've heard of a store doing something for others with the money.

                        barbos's avatar - gold bar-and-cash1.jpg
                        California
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                        Posted: September 5, 2009, 3:24 am - IP Logged

                        What I like about this story is that the shop is giving away free lottery tickets on one day to celebrate! Which is great PR for them whether another person wins or not.

                        This is the first I've heard of a store doing something for others with the money.

                          In my opinion "free tickets" is not a smart PR - as a result the crowd may take that place apart, you should understand how big is LA population.  In their place I would offer tickets for a half-price - good PR and the building survives.

                          Avatar
                          Indiana
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                          September 2, 2009
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                          Posted: September 5, 2009, 7:29 am - IP Logged

                            In my opinion "free tickets" is not a smart PR - as a result the crowd may take that place apart, you should understand how big is LA population.  In their place I would offer tickets for a half-price - good PR and the building survives.

                          I thought the same thing. Those tickets wont be free, the shop owner will have to pay for them. There goes the $832, 000 he won...

                            diamondpalace's avatar - Untitled 2.jpg
                            Dallas, TX
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                            Posted: September 5, 2009, 7:50 am - IP Logged

                            Fun story.