California Mega Millions Jackpot Winner Claims Prize

Wednesday January 8th 2014

One month after winning the second largest jackpot in US lottery history, the winning Mega Millions ticket holder from California has finally come forward to claim their share of the $648 million jackpot. The owner of the winning ticket has been named as Steve Tran from Northern California and he came forward last Thursday to claim his win.

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$174 Million
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Tran, who opted not to speak at a press conference, told California Lottery officials that for several days he was unaware that he held a Mega Millions jackpot winning ticket. Tran purchased multiple tickets for the Mega Millions drawing on December 17 from several shops along his route as a delivery driver and forgot that he bought a Quick Pick ticket from Jennifer’s Gift Shop in San Jose where the winning ticket was sold.

After taking a vacation with this family, Tran woke up in the middle of the night and remembered that he had purchased a Mega Millions ticket in San Jose. After checking his tickets at 3.00 am, Tran discovered that he was the missing jackpot winner. He hugged his wife and left a message for his boss which said: “’I’m really sorry boss. I hit the jackpot. I don’t think I’m going to come in today, tomorrow, or ever.”

Thuy Nguyen, the owner of Jennifer's Gift Shop where Tran purchased the ticket, received a staggering $1 million retailer bonus for selling the winning ticket.

The other jackpot winner from the drawing, Ira Curry from Georgia, came forward to claim her share of the jackpot on December 18 2013. Curry opted to receive her win in a cash lump sum which worked out at $120 million after taxes.

Tran now has 60 days to decide whether to receive his win as annuity payments over 30 years or in a smaller cash lump sum.

Written by Katelin Thompson

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