Local News

California Man Claims $324 Million Mega Millions Prize

The person who bought the winning Mega Millions jackpot ticket in San Jose has finally come forward to claim his $324 million prize, California Lottery officials announced Friday.

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Steve Tran’s winning ticket. (Credit: California Lottery)

Steve Tran and his family like to visit San Jose because there is a large Vietnamese community there, according to a news release from lottery officials.

On the Saturday before the drawing, they stopped by Jennifer’s Gift Shop on Tully Road and bought five Quick Pick tickets.

Tran said he added those tickets to a pile of other Lottery tickets he had purchased in multiple other towns while making his runs as a delivery driver. According to Tran, the entire lot ended up “just sitting in my house, on top of my drawer.”

And that’s where the ticket stayed for weeks until Tran and his family returned from a vacation, lottery officials said.

Tran said the night they returned home something just clicked in his mind. “I woke up in the middle of the night. I remembered, I think I went to San Jose,” Tran told lottery officials.

That was about 3 a.m. Monday. Tran said he checked his tickets and discovered he had hit the jackpot.

He said he called his boss and left a message that went something like this: “I’m really sorry boss. I hit the jackpot. I don’t think I’m going to come in today, tomorrow, or ever.”

The California ticket holder shares that prize with another jackpot winner in Georgia. Split between the two tickets, it comes to a total of $324 million per winning ticket, according to lottery officials.

The cash equivalent for each ticket is $173.8 million before federal taxes. Tran has 60 days to select his payment option.

Tran’s ticket successfully matched the numbers 8, 20, 14, 17, 39 and the Mega number 7. The store owner, Thuy Nguyen, will receive a $1 million retailer bonus just for selling the lucky ticket.

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