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Mega Millions lottery winner recounts epic win

Mega MillionsMega Millions: Mega Millions lottery winner recounts epic win
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Includes video report

OLYMPIA, Wash. — No, Carolyn, it's not a heart attack. It's a fortune.

The man who bought one of two winning tickets in the $380 million Mega Millions lottery frightened his wife when he woke her Tuesday night to share the life-changing news.

"I was pale, shaking. She thought I was having a heart attack," retiree Jim McCullar recalled.

When his wife, Carolyn, asked if he was OK, he replied: "I'm perfect."

On Thursday, the couple and their adult children stepped forward to publicly claim one half of the second-largest lottery jackpot in history. Whoever is holding the other winning ticket, purchased in neighboring Idaho, remained a mystery.

At a news conference in Washington's capital city, the McCullars took hold of the oversized check, marveling at all the zeros in $190 million. Jim McCullar, 68, then promptly handed it over to his wife, 63.

"We've been married 41 years," he said. "I know what to do with this check."

In Washington, no state taxes would apply. The lump sum payment would be $90 million after the 25 percent federal tax. The McCullars said they hadn't decided how to take the payment.

In Idaho, the lucky winner has the option of taking a nearly $81 million lump sum payment after state and federal taxes are withheld, state lottery officials said.

Jim McCullar, a retired Boeing Co. worker, bought his ticket at a supermarket in Ephrata in eastern Washington, about 125 miles from Post Falls, Idaho, a suburb of Spokane, Wash., where the other ticket was sold.

The winners had to match five numbers plus the "Mega ball." The numbers were 4, 8, 15, 25 and 47, and 42 as the Mega ball.

The McCullars have played some combination of those numbers for years because they're based on the couple's birthdays. It has worked before: Jim McCullar said he won about $18,000 several years ago playing similar numbers on a keno game in Oregon.

The prospect of winning the enormous jackpot drew huge interest across the country as thousands of people lined up to buy tickets in the 41 states and Washington, D.C., where the lottery is held.

In March 2007, two winners, in Georgia and New Jersey, shared the richest prize — a $390 million Mega Millions jackpot.

Jim McCullar said he had rough plans to give some donations to charities, though he declined to name which ones. He has already given his notice at the real estate company where he was working.

The couple has been house hunting, and knows they can afford a larger place — but not too big, he said. An RV might be in their future to visit friends and family around the country, and to "hide out" for a while.

McCullar said the money will, of course, help his large extended family: six children, including two from an earlier marriage; 23 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

"The legacy is going to go generation after generation after generation," he said. "We're not going to blow this."

http://media.lpimg.com/2011010604.mp4

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

AP

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61 comments. Last comment 6 years ago by spaconbe2.
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zinniagirl's avatar - flower avatar_0026.jpg
nc
United States
Member #99520
October 26, 2010
375 Posts
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Posted: January 6, 2011, 7:47 pm - IP Logged

My congratulations to the McCullar family!!   May they not be beseiged with phony scam artists!!

    sully16's avatar - sharan
    Ringleader
    Michigan
    United States
    Member #81740
    October 28, 2009
    40262 Posts
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    Posted: January 6, 2011, 8:00 pm - IP Logged

    wow nice big family, Congrats to the McCullars.Cheers

    Did you exchange a walk on part in the war ?

    For a lead role in a cage?

     

                                                From Pink Floyd's " Wish you were here"

      dphillips's avatar - littleuns
      Albuquerque, New Mexico
      United States
      Member #5128
      June 18, 2004
      377 Posts
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      Posted: January 6, 2011, 8:07 pm - IP Logged

      Well, it is nice and generous he wants to take care of his kids from a previous marriage -- since we do not know their ages. Wait a minute, they are most likely under 18. He gave a press conference (I do not know if it is required) and he wants to lay low for awhile.  Is that really possible since he gave that conference? Anyway, the best to his wife and may they enjoy their new found wealth in peace.

      See Ya!-- Bye, bye!  When you win, may you glow as brightly as theSun Smiley

        RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
        mid-Ohio
        United States
        Member #9
        March 24, 2001
        19816 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: January 6, 2011, 8:19 pm - IP Logged

        Well, it is nice and generous he wants to take care of his kids from a previous marriage -- since we do not know their ages. Wait a minute, they are most likely under 18. He gave a press conference (I do not know if it is required) and he wants to lay low for awhile.  Is that really possible since he gave that conference? Anyway, the best to his wife and may they enjoy their new found wealth in peace.

        *Kids from a previous marriage and he has been in this marriage 41 years would make them at least 40.

         * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
           
                     Evil Looking       

          barbos's avatar - gold bar-and-cash1.jpg
          California
          United States
          Member #23908
          October 17, 2005
          122 Posts
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          Posted: January 6, 2011, 8:20 pm - IP Logged

            Didn't win but nice to see my money went to great folks. Congratulations!

            RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
            mid-Ohio
            United States
            Member #9
            March 24, 2001
            19816 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: January 6, 2011, 8:25 pm - IP Logged

              Didn't win but nice to see my money went to great folks. Congratulations!

            Most of your money went to your state and local winners.  Only 30¢ of your dollar went toward the jackpot and he only won half of that.

             * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
               
                         Evil Looking       

              barbos's avatar - gold bar-and-cash1.jpg
              California
              United States
              Member #23908
              October 17, 2005
              122 Posts
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              Posted: January 6, 2011, 8:29 pm - IP Logged

              Most of your money went to your state and local winners.  Only 30¢ of your dollar went toward the jackpot and he only won half of that.

              Smiley  Even if it was one penny - still nice.

                Avatar

                United States
                Member #10720
                January 23, 2005
                933 Posts
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                Posted: January 6, 2011, 8:56 pm - IP Logged

                On abc news radio they said the odds of buying the 2 sets with the $150 winner and the Jackpot winner were "2.7 trillion to one" - which is completely wrong! First of all, if you play your own #s and you had 2 different tickets your odds for the Jackpot are half of 175 million to one, and if the tickets share 4 common numbers then if you win one you AUTOMATICALLY win the other $150, so the odds are not 2.7T to 1 but 87.5 million to one.

                Also I see that he followed Richard Lustig's prime directive of "never change your numbers".

                I also noticed something about the winning set of numbers (other than the connection to the LOST show which I hate) - but, I cannot tell you what that is...but I am using that idea for the next drawing.

                  RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                  mid-Ohio
                  United States
                  Member #9
                  March 24, 2001
                  19816 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: January 6, 2011, 9:12 pm - IP Logged

                  On abc news radio they said the odds of buying the 2 sets with the $150 winner and the Jackpot winner were "2.7 trillion to one" - which is completely wrong! First of all, if you play your own #s and you had 2 different tickets your odds for the Jackpot are half of 175 million to one, and if the tickets share 4 common numbers then if you win one you AUTOMATICALLY win the other $150, so the odds are not 2.7T to 1 but 87.5 million to one.

                  Also I see that he followed Richard Lustig's prime directive of "never change your numbers".

                  I also noticed something about the winning set of numbers (other than the connection to the LOST show which I hate) - but, I cannot tell you what that is...but I am using that idea for the next drawing.

                  I also noticed something about the winning set of numbers (other than the connection to the LOST show which I hate) - but, I cannot tell you what that is...

                  I noticed he didn't elaborate much about his numbers other than to say they were just some birthdays.  This guy was retired and probably spent some time picking his numbers and if he had a special way of combining them then he's probably not sharing that.

                   * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
                     
                               Evil Looking       

                    freeobama's avatar - Lottery-057.jpg
                    Sunny part of town
                    United States
                    Member #102877
                    December 27, 2010
                    224 Posts
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                    Posted: January 6, 2011, 9:16 pm - IP Logged

                    I need this next Powerball jackpot!!!Dance

                      joshuacloak's avatar - Money Swim-uncle-scrooge-mcduck-35997717-677-518.jpg

                      United States
                      Member #32537
                      February 12, 2006
                      698 Posts
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                      Posted: January 6, 2011, 9:59 pm - IP Logged

                      six children, including two from an earlier marriage; 23 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

                      this guy is a bunny rabbit and so are hes offspring , he had 6, then they go out and create 23 more kids, and now the grand kids are just starting to making tiny little great-grandchildren, geez

                       

                      if i ever won the lotto, i guest i need to get busy and create a empire of offspring,   as i could afford it then LOL

                      besides

                       

                       

                      glad to see him win thro, you know where the money going, to hes insane large family , with that many off spring under your belt you can keep busy visiting them all, let alone making that many millions work for you to help your great grand kids, he may even live to see hes great grand kids have great-great grandkids LOL

                        Avatar

                        United States
                        Member #10720
                        January 23, 2005
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                        Posted: January 6, 2011, 10:03 pm - IP Logged

                        He has a lot of children and grandchildren so we don't know whose ages or birthdays he used, and, I wonder what the other numbers were exactly.. to win $150 only (and not $10000 or $250000) he had to either change 1 WB and the BB, or 2 WB with ??. One story said he "switched the 5th number" (with the BB?) so maybe the 2 higher numbers being reversed (WB and BB) gave a 4+0 win. Switching 2 WB out would indicate he used an algorithm (and that the report was incorrect abut the 5th number) but switching the WB and BB you normally don't want to do that! Figure also that some % of players use systems, and even if it's 1 in 50 sooner or later pure luck comes to a system player and it will SEEM like their system won. The real proof of a system is in backtesting, show that over several drawings it would have at least did better than QP.

                        His ticket probably looked like:

                        04 08 15 25 47 BB 42 (match 5+1)
                        04 08 15 25 42 BB 47 (match 4+0)

                        In my own system, one of my weaker algorithms (QP RNG) matched 2 WB and the BB.

                          visiondude's avatar - eye3logo
                          light on my feet
                          United States
                          Member #356
                          May 20, 2002
                          2744 Posts
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                          Posted: January 6, 2011, 10:44 pm - IP Logged

                          the guy didn't have any magic formula,  he said he used "birthday numbers".

                          birthday numbers,  even switching a couple around here or there to accomodate several family members,  is still for a lack of better way to state it - "brainless".

                          there is no "system" in using already in place family birthdays. 

                           you can bet your life he didn't spend countless hours arranging them or rotating them because they were "due", etc. 

                          he was married before,  which at most he had more than the intial required number field to insert,  so he naturally rotated a couple of them on a couple of other tickets (unless he states otherwise)

                          it isn't a system,  yet systems players will attempt to make it into one.

                          i wish i had a dollar for everyone that played the lottery that night on their birthday numbers and lost.

                          there isn't any wisdom in sticking with the same numbers for years.  millions of people do that and lose.

                          tiggs95 said it correctly .......it's luck    (unless you believe in assigned fate...)

                          that is the one inherent component of the lottery,  that it can breed desperation,  and desperation makes a person think they can orchaestrate something they can't,  which is why there will still be people that play "birthday numbers" now,  and remain "panicked" if they "abandon" numbers they have had all these years.

                          buy a ticket and walk away.

                          if you are meant to,  you will...

                          VISIONthevoiceofnondesperationDUDE

                                      "i am .........."meant to"       

                          P.S.,  that RJoH  is a stand up guy.  thanks,  vision

                                   until further notice,  it's  france everyday

                            rcbbuckeye's avatar - Lottery-043.jpg
                            Texas
                            United States
                            Member #55889
                            October 23, 2007
                            5588 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: January 6, 2011, 10:59 pm - IP Logged

                            the guy didn't have any magic formula,  he said he used "birthday numbers".

                            birthday numbers,  even switching a couple around here or there to accomodate several family members,  is still for a lack of better way to state it - "brainless".

                            there is no "system" in using already in place family birthdays. 

                             you can bet your life he didn't spend countless hours arranging them or rotating them because they were "due", etc. 

                            he was married before,  which at most he had more than the intial required number field to insert,  so he naturally rotated a couple of them on a couple of other tickets (unless he states otherwise)

                            it isn't a system,  yet systems players will attempt to make it into one.

                            i wish i had a dollar for everyone that played the lottery that night on their birthday numbers and lost.

                            there isn't any wisdom in sticking with the same numbers for years.  millions of people do that and lose.

                            tiggs95 said it correctly .......it's luck    (unless you believe in assigned fate...)

                            that is the one inherent component of the lottery,  that it can breed desperation,  and desperation makes a person think they can orchaestrate something they can't,  which is why there will still be people that play "birthday numbers" now,  and remain "panicked" if they "abandon" numbers they have had all these years.

                            buy a ticket and walk away.

                            if you are meant to,  you will...

                            VISIONthevoiceofnondesperationDUDE

                            His way may be brainless, but he still won millions and you are still trying. I wouldn't knock the way he plays.

                            In fact, he is not the first one to win playing the same numbers for a long time.

                            CAN'T WIN IF YOU'RE NOT IN

                            A DOLLAR AND A DREAM (OR $2)