Mega Millions jackpot: California man comes forward as the second winner
A delivery truck driver who was completely unaware for weeks that he was a new multi-millionaire, has finally come forward as the second winner of a huge Mega Millions jackpot, California Lottery officials said.
The lucky winner is Steve Tran of Northern California who will split last month’s $648 million jackpot — the second largest in U.S. history — with a Georgia woman who already claimed her share.
If he chooses a one-time payment, Tran will pocket $173.8 million before taxes.
Tran purchased his ticket at Jenny’s Gift Shop in San Jose, California and then watched as a mad scramble ensued to find the owner of the winning ticket, oblivious to the fact that he was the lucky one. Tran’s family then went on vacation without checking the tickets.
“Everybody was anxious, looking for the person,” Tran said, not knowing that he was the winner all along. At 3 a.m. Monday, he checked his tickets and found the winner. Lottery officials did not release Tran’s age or city of residence Friday.
According to the news release, Tran said he added the winning ticket to a pile of other lottery tickets he had purchased in other towns on his delivery route. The pile wound up, “just sitting in my house, on top of my drawer,'” the release quoted Tran as saying.
Tran told lottery officials after he returned from vacation, he “woke up in the middle of the night” and remembered: “I think I went to San Jose.”
He told lottery officials he gave his wife a smile and a hug, and then called his boss. Apparently his boss didn’t answer but he left a message along the lines of; “I’m really sorry boss. I hit the jackpot. I don’t think I’m going to come in today, tomorrow, or ever.”