MARIN COUNTY, Calif. — Two cohabiting Marin County sheriff's deputies are sporting ear-to-ear grins because they're California's newest multimillionaires.
Brian Cabaud, 31, and 24-year-old Anneliese Hansen, who goes by Liese, aren't chasing crooks these days. They're taking some time off, contemplating what life will be like now that they are $75 million richer, thanks to the Mega Millions lottery.
The California winning ticket is one of three tickets to split a $225 million Mega Millions jackpot drawn on May 1.
"It's very surreal," Cabaud said as he and Hansen, in street clothes and flip-flops, met with reporters Tuesday at the California Lottery's district office in Hayward.
Asked what the couple would do now, Cabaud said, "Think, really. It's very new and overwhelming, and we just really haven't had any time to make any decisions."
Hansen said, "We're still waiting for them to say, you know, 'Joke's on you.' "
One thing they do know is that they'll be going to Disneyland, which they haven't visited since they were kids. They want to tackle the Space Mountain ride. And Hansen intends to trade in her 1996 Toyota Camry for a Volvo.
On a more serious note, Cabaud said he plans to donate money to the families of the four Oakland police officers who were shot and killed by a parolee on March 21.
Both Cabaud and Hansen are Marin County natives. He is a four-year veteran with the Sheriff's Department who previously worked as a mechanic at General Motors dealerships and drove ambulances; she has been a deputy for 2 1/2 years. Cabaud won a department lifesaving medal for his May 2008 rescue of a 77-year-old woman who fell into a canal in Bel Marin Keys.
The couple said they have not discussed their future with Sheriff Robert Doyle. But Cabaud said, "We go to work, and we're at work. We devote ourselves to work. And then when we get home, we're off, and that's our life, you know? And I don't think that's really going to change."
Cabaud bought the couple's ticket during his lunch break Friday at the Strawberry Chevron on Redwood Highway in Mill Valley. He was heading to work at the Marin City substation on Saturday when a co-worker asked him, "Where's your ticket?"
Cabaud found it and realized he had the winning numbers: 9, 16, 24, 40, 43 and the mega number 35. He called Hansen, who was on patrol and thought he was joking.
The deputies live in a town outside Marin County, which they declined to name. Asked to specify their relationship, Hansen joked that Cabaud was her mechanic.
Hansen was working in the jail when she first spotted Cabaud. "He just had this goofy smile to him," she said, "and I'll never forget that day."