Narinder Badwal and his wife Lilla Singh still can't believe their luck. Standing in front of television cameras and microphones during a press conference in Milpitas today helped them realize that they will split a $99 million Superlotto jackpot.
The dream started last week when Badwal, who owns a 7-Eleven store in Santa Clara learned that he had sold one of two winning lotto tickets. The commission for selling the ticket was a share of $247,500.
Narinder said he bought a lotto ticket, but was too busy working in the store Thursday, to check it.
When no one from Northern California stepped forward to claim the prize by Friday morning, Narinder said his brother Parminder Badwal, called and asked Narinder to check his tickets.
Narinder told his brother the tickets were in his office, and that he should check them for him.
The rest will be history.
Narinder said he chose annual payments of $1.2 million to $2.6 million over 26 years. He and his family have no plans to make any drastic life changes. There's been no talk of travel or moving to a bigger home. Their eldest daughter graduated from college, and they expect the same from their other two children.
Narinder's friends describe him as modest, and say his 25 year marriage is a shining example of his character.
His friends said Narinder may open up a school in, Hoshiarpur, his hometown in the Indian state of Punjab. Lilla and Narinder and are sure that they will give part of their winnings to charity. They are both advocates for the Sankara Eye Foundation, www.giftofvision.org, which uses hospitals to help cure blindness.
Narinder says he will keep working in the store and keep buying lottery tickets. Lilla says even though her boss gave her the week off, she plans to return to her supervisory position at Kaiser. When asked about any personal extravagance, Lilla said she might buy herself a "big diamond ring."