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Cancer survivors win $20 million lottery jackpot

California LotteryCalifornia Lottery: Cancer survivors win $20 million lottery jackpot
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RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. — John and Norma Jean Crippen were revealed Tuesday as the lucky Coachella Valley couple who bought this past weekend's winning California SuperLotto Plus ticket valued at $20 million.

"I've been playing these same numbers for a number of years," John said at a news conference in San Bernardino.

The Crippens of Rancho Mirage have been married for 60 years. They have two children and four grandchildren.

John, who bought the ticket at a nearby corner Chevron gas station at 36-101 Bob Hope Drive, said he's regularly bought lottery tickets there since the couple moved to Rancho Mirage six years ago.

His winning numbers — 21, 22, 25, 28, 43, and Mega 12 — had no special significance, he added.

The couple's odds of winning the jackpot were about one in 41 million, lottery officials said.

"That's not bad odds," John said.

The Crippens opted to take a lump cash payment on the ticket valued at an estimated $14.2 million

Both John, 81, and Norma Jean, 78, are cancer survivors.

John said he successfully underwent treatment for cancer at Eisenhower Medical Center earlier this year and the pair plans to donate a portion of the winnings to the Rancho Mirage hospital.

Norma Jean said she beat breast cancer in the 1990s, following treatment at UCLA.

The couple also plans to donate to Southwest Community Church in Indian Wells, where they attend weekly services.

A fellow congregant was the first to inform them after church Sunday morning that someone had bought the winning ticket at the Rancho Mirage Chevron.

John has a career in sales, marketing and product development dating back to 1948.

He said he has tried retirement several times, but each time "it took a week for me to go back to work."

Norma Jean works as a housewife taking care of the couple's kids and grandkids.

She can't stay too active due to heart complications stemming from her cancer treatments, she said.

Even though they're now millionaires, John said he has no immediate plans to leave his current job with a down-and-feather business based in Irwindale.

It's up to his employer, he said.

"I always said that if I find myself not being a help to the business you won't have to get rid of me, I'll leave myself," he added.

Whatever John decides, the Crippens, who've watched the Coachella Valley grow over the past 40 years, say they're considering investing in solar and other technologies, as well as light manufacturing, to help spur more local jobs and development.

This is not the first time a winning ticket has been bought in the Coachella Valley.

In 2009, a ticket worth $7 million was purchased by John and Patricia Estrada of Desert Hot Springs at a Chevron mini-mart on Palm Drive, just south of the city.

In 2007, Coachella Valley resident Thomas Thornton purchased a winning $34 million Mega Millions jackpot ticket at La Quinta Liquor and Deli in the La Quinta Cove.

And, in 2004, Charles "Chuck" Bush of Lindsay was passing through the valley when he stopped at a Dillon Road Chevron in Coachella and bought a SuperLotto ticket.

That winning ticket was valued at $44 million.

Meanwhile, the Crippens said they are contemplating a cruise to Alaska sometime soon with the whole family.

One of their grandsons is a swim instructor whose student recently won two gold medals at the Special Olympics 2011 World Summer Games in Athens, Greece, they said.

Another grandson is about to graduate into the Marine Corps at Camp Pendleton, north of San Diego.

"So this is secondary," John said, referring to the winning ticket.

Nonetheless, he said he plans to keep playing the lottery.

"I'm planning to win again tonight," he quipped.

Desert Sun reporter Sherry Barkas contributed.

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

Desert Sun

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25 comments. Last comment 5 years ago by cbr$.
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dpoly1's avatar - driver
PA
United States
Member #66141
October 16, 2008
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Posted: November 16, 2011, 8:59 am - IP Logged

Congrats to The Crippens! Nice win! Best wishes to them! Thumbs Up

    Avatar
    Keokuk,Iowa
    United States
    Member #116504
    September 12, 2011
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    Posted: November 16, 2011, 9:01 am - IP Logged

    Congrats to The Crippens! Nice win! Best wishes to them! Thumbs Up

    Ditto!

      Litebets27's avatar - power
      Maryland
      United States
      Member #10465
      January 14, 2005
      6065 Posts
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      Posted: November 16, 2011, 10:17 am - IP Logged

      Congratulations to the Crippens on their wins against Cancer and this recent jackpot win.

      Feeling,  PRICELESS!!!Banana

      Come on Jackpot!!!

        Avatar
        Orlando, FL
        United States
        Member #115785
        August 28, 2011
        259 Posts
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        Posted: November 16, 2011, 10:48 am - IP Logged

        I am glad that they won.

         

        But for me, I would not want to win when I am so old.

         

        I want to win  NOW!!!!!!!!! while I can still enjoy the cash , like for real.Thumbs Up

          Avatar

          United States
          Member #26330
          November 16, 2005
          330 Posts
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          Posted: November 16, 2011, 11:04 am - IP Logged

          Nice one... This family has many blessings to be Thankfull for this Thanksgiving!   Good Health,Grandchildren, and now a big Lotto win!  Congrats and remember to take time to thank GOD from who all blessings come!

            RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
            mid-Ohio
            United States
            Member #9
            March 24, 2001
            19895 Posts
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            Posted: November 16, 2011, 11:37 am - IP Logged

            I hope they know where all their kids and grand kids are because they'll be getting calls from people around the world claiming to be one of them in trouble and hurt and needing $1-$5K quick.  I've never won a lottery, never had kids and I got one this morning asking for grand pa's help.

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

              Avatar
              kings mountain
              United States
              Member #118667
              November 5, 2011
              208 Posts
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              Posted: November 16, 2011, 11:55 am - IP Logged

              Congrats to you and your family.   The best way to win lotteries is to play the same numbers over and over again. Its beats anything that the so called bright mathematicians can come up with.  I have won lots of pick 3s and pick 4s by playing the same numbers.  Btw...60 is not old.  I know a rich 60 year old with a 30 something beauty. She broke up with her 30 something boyfriend because HE did not have money.  MONEY makes difference.

                Avatar
                Keokuk,Iowa
                United States
                Member #116504
                September 12, 2011
                305 Posts
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                Posted: November 16, 2011, 12:26 pm - IP Logged

                Congrats to you and your family.   The best way to win lotteries is to play the same numbers over and over again. Its beats anything that the so called bright mathematicians can come up with.  I have won lots of pick 3s and pick 4s by playing the same numbers.  Btw...60 is not old.  I know a rich 60 year old with a 30 something beauty. She broke up with her 30 something boyfriend because HE did not have money.  MONEY makes difference.

                John is 81,not 60.Norma Jean is in her late 70's.They have been married for 60 years.They ARE old.But that shouldn't mean that they can't enjoy the money.

                  ChaosX's avatar - dnf
                  Morris County, NJ
                  United States
                  Member #114357
                  July 29, 2011
                  656 Posts
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                  Posted: November 16, 2011, 12:27 pm - IP Logged

                  It's nice to see a feel good story for a change. Cheers

                  "If you really want something in this life you have to work for it. Now quiet, they're about to announce the lottery numbers." - Homer J. Simpson

                    surimaribo24's avatar - photo11 zpsfffd70be.jpg
                    NEW YORK. RIVERHEAD
                    United States
                    Member #106371
                    February 17, 2011
                    9710 Posts
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                    Posted: November 16, 2011, 12:29 pm - IP Logged

                    always good to see winners like this couples congrats to them and bless them .

                      LottoGuyBC's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
                      British Columbia
                      Canada
                      Member #116101
                      September 4, 2011
                      4033 Posts
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                      Posted: November 16, 2011, 12:29 pm - IP Logged

                      Big Congratz Cheers

                      "You have to be in it to win it!"

                        rdgrnr's avatar - walt
                        Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
                        United States
                        Member #73904
                        April 28, 2009
                        14903 Posts
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                        Posted: November 16, 2011, 1:20 pm - IP Logged

                        Better late than never.

                        They seem like nice people, God bless 'em.


                                                                     
                                             
                                                                 

                         

                         

                         

                         

                                                                                                                           

                        "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                                                    --Edmund Burke

                         

                         

                          dpoly1's avatar - driver
                          PA
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                          October 16, 2008
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                          Posted: November 16, 2011, 1:48 pm - IP Logged

                          Better late than never.

                          They seem like nice people, God bless 'em.

                          I Agree!  Thumbs Up

                            weshar75's avatar - Lottery-042.jpg
                            Mcminnville, Oregon
                            United States
                            Member #3013
                            December 13, 2003
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                            Posted: November 16, 2011, 4:03 pm - IP Logged

                            It is nice to see someone beat cancer and then beat the odds and win the lottery.  Congrats!-weshar75