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California delivery driver claims half of $648 million jackpot

Mega MillionsMega Millions: California delivery driver claims half of $648 million jackpot
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Didn't check his lottery ticket for two weeks

SAN JOSE, Calif. — A delivery driver from Northern California rang in the New Year by walking into the California Lottery headquarters in Sacramento with a ticket worth $324 million.

The California Lottery identified the winner as Steve Tran, who has chosen to take his winnings in one lump sum and will receive $173.8 million before federal taxes.

Tran told lottery officials that after learning he had the winning ticket, he made a call to his boss: "I'm really sorry boss. I hit the jackpot. I don't think I'm going to come in today, tomorrow, or ever."

California Lottery spokesman Russ Lopez said Tran came in to the Sacramento office at about 3:30 p.m. Thursday, ending a two-week mystery over the identity of the newly minted multi-millionaire.

The winning numbers were drawn on Dec. 17, and when it was announced one of the winning tickets was purchased at a gift store on Tully Road, San Jose was buzzing about who was the lucky owner.

Tran did not want to talk with reporters but did share some of his story with Lottery officials, Lopez said.

On the day after the winning numbers were drawn, Tran said he watched the story in the news, not knowing he was the lucky winner.

"Everybody was anxious, looking for the person," Tran told the California Lottery. "Must be a lucky man."

Tran said he did not realize he was in possession of the winning ticket until Monday. Tran said he has a pile of lottery tickets purchased from other towns sitting on his drawer, and out of nowhere he realized he may have bought a ticket in San Jose.

"I woke up in the middle of the night," Tran told the Lottery officials. "I remembered, I think I went to San Jose."

When Tran checked his tickets, he made the $324 millions discovery. He was a multi-millionaire.

Tran says he and his family visit San Jose because there is a large Vietnamese community there, plus they can eat and shop. Tran said he bought five quick pick tickets at Jenny's Gift & Kids Wear, a store tucked away in a Tully Road strip mall.

Nguyen said he remembers Tran but added he did not stop by his shop that often.

Nguyen said he feels "proud for him, happy for him."

Being the source of the winner's good fortune, he felt like he made a contribution to the community.

"That must have been the reason I'm here," Nguyen said.

Nguyen's lottery sales have jumped by about 30 percent since he sold the winning Mega Millions ticket. Friday morning, he went through a 20-minute stretch of selling tickets, telling each customer "I wish you the best."

Tran is one of two winners in the $648 million drawing — the second-largest jackpot in U.S. history. The other newly minted multimillionaire, Ira Curry of Georgia, claimed her winnings and immediately dropped out of sight. She is taking her bonanza as a lump sum — $123 million after taxes.

San Jose Mercury News

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62 comments. Last comment 7 months ago by jamella724.
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dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
Oklahoma
United States
Member #82391
November 12, 2009
5260 Posts
Offline
Posted: January 3, 2014, 3:26 pm - IP Logged

Congratulation Mr. Tran & familyHurray!

I Love Pink & Green 1908

    mrcraft's avatar - images3lp4 zps7dbb4a10.jpg
    Los Angeles, California
    United States
    Member #149499
    December 2, 2013
    762 Posts
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    Posted: January 3, 2014, 3:28 pm - IP Logged

    Congrats on the big win!

      Saylorgirl's avatar - Lottery-065.jpg
      Indiana
      United States
      Member #129230
      June 13, 2012
      332 Posts
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      Posted: January 3, 2014, 3:31 pm - IP Logged

      Congratulations and Happy New Year to Steve Tran and family!

        Jon D's avatar - calotterylogo
        Los Angeles, California
        United States
        Member #103816
        January 5, 2011
        1530 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: January 3, 2014, 3:32 pm - IP Logged

        Quick pick JP winner! Thumbs Up

          DDOH937's avatar - Lottery-028.jpg

          United States
          Member #149603
          December 4, 2013
          193 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: January 3, 2014, 3:45 pm - IP Logged

          Congrats to you Mr. Tran. All the best to you, your family and loved ones. What a way to start 2014!!! Good for you!!

           

          For some reason, i'm so glad it was a quick pick winner, not sure why but was hoping it was. Way to go man, when its your time, its simply your time!!!!

          "It's good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it's good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven't lost the things that money can't buy." - George Lorimer

            HaveABall's avatar - rocket

            United States
            Member #72448
            March 18, 2009
            958 Posts
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            Posted: January 3, 2014, 4:14 pm - IP Logged

            Congratulations, Steve, on your huge Mega Millions Jackpot win! Disney

            Having millions of dollars in my financial accounts means more, consistent fun for me.Lovies

              Artist77's avatar - batman14

              United States
              Member #121750
              January 16, 2012
              3212 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: January 3, 2014, 4:24 pm - IP Logged

              Congratulations! And as I said before, sometimes people just get busy and don't get to check their tickets right away. It does not mean they want to win any less than anyone of us.

              Best quote ever :"I'm really sorry boss. I hit the jackpot. I don't think I'm going to come in today, tomorrow, or ever."

              Just as the bird sings or the butterfly soars,

              because it is his natural characteristic,

              so the artist works.

              by Alma  Gluck

                Avatar
                New Member
                New York
                United States
                Member #130033
                July 4, 2012
                2 Posts
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                Posted: January 3, 2014, 4:33 pm - IP Logged

                Congrats!! To you and your family.

                  whiteballz's avatar - Lottery-015.jpg
                  Nutley, New Jersey
                  United States
                  Member #131063
                  August 1, 2012
                  776 Posts
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                  Posted: January 3, 2014, 5:28 pm - IP Logged

                  Lucky him. Not only did he win the money, he has a common enough name in the Vietnamese community that he is essentially anonymous.

                  Also, a great decision by Mr. Tran to avoid the cameras.

                  .

                    Chadu82's avatar - Lottery-029.jpg
                    New Member

                    United States
                    Member #150720
                    December 29, 2013
                    6 Posts
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                    Posted: January 3, 2014, 6:01 pm - IP Logged

                    CONGRATS!  Banana

                      Win$500Quick's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
                      Florida
                      United States
                      Member #77815
                      August 1, 2009
                      3261 Posts
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                      Posted: January 3, 2014, 8:10 pm - IP Logged

                      Tran said he bought five quick pick tickets at Jenny's Gift & Kids Wear, a store tucked away in a Tully Road strip mall.

                      Dream Big!

                        Jon D's avatar - calotterylogo
                        Los Angeles, California
                        United States
                        Member #103816
                        January 5, 2011
                        1530 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: January 3, 2014, 8:15 pm - IP Logged

                        Tran said he bought five quick pick tickets at Jenny's Gift & Kids Wear, a store tucked away in a Tully Road strip mall.

                        It was 1 ticket, 5 lines: (play C was the winner)

                        I always get thrown for a loop when people refer to lines/plays/picks as tickets. I know it is common, but it just seems weird to me. Like when the frenzy hits and reporters go out to stores, and they say, "give me five tickets!" and the clerk hands then 1 ticket with 5 linesNo Nod

                          golfer1960's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcRrT_aqD1AR0JipFSPNrYwpV7HY4uVoKxOgcUYLzZ3SEdif
                          Eatontown, NJ
                          United States
                          Member #119675
                          November 29, 2011
                          550 Posts
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                          Posted: January 3, 2014, 8:25 pm - IP Logged

                          Congratulation Mr. Tran & familyHurray!

                          Yeah, yeah, yeah. I wanted it to be me. I'm not happy for him.

                          sticking out my tongue

                            dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
                            Oklahoma
                            United States
                            Member #82391
                            November 12, 2009
                            5260 Posts
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                            Posted: January 3, 2014, 9:02 pm - IP Logged

                            Yeah, yeah, yeah. I wanted it to be me. I'm not happy for him.

                            sticking out my tongue

                            Lol you so crazy Big Grin

                            I Love Pink & Green 1908