Mega Millions Winner: California Delivery Driver Claims $173.8M

Monday, 06 Jan 2014 09:30 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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A Northern California delivery truck driver has quietly claimed $173.8 million in December's Mega Millions drawing.
Steve Tran declined to take part in the traditional news conference for winners, opting instead to issue a handful of comments and details to lottery officials, reported the San Jose Mercury News. Officials said Tran appeared at its Sacramento offices Jan. 2 with the winning ticket.
 
Tran, whose delivery truck route allowed him to purchase lottery tickets at several locations in the San Jose area, told lottery officials after learning he won, made a call to his boss, wrote the Mercury News.
 
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"I'm really sorry, boss. I hit the jackpot," Tran told lottery officials he told his boss. "I don't think I'm going to come in today, tomorrow, or ever."
 
Tran said, according to the Mercury News, that he had not realized he had won until after returning with his family from vacation and noticing that he never went through his purchased lottery tickets and knowing a winner had not claimed the prize.

"(The tickets were) just sitting in my house, on top of my drawer," Tran told lottery officials. "I woke up in the middle of the night. I remembered, I think I went to San Jose."

Tran said he went through his tickets about 3 a.m. in the morning last Monday when he discovered he actually had the winning ticket, worth $324 million before federal taxes.
 
Tran's winning ticket – with the numbers 8, 14, 17, 20, 39 and a Mega number of 7 – was sold at Jenny's Gift Shop in San Jose, state lottery spokesman Alex Traverso told the Los Angeles Times.
 
Tran was one of two winners of the total $648 million Mega Millions jackpot in December, the second largest in U.S. history. Ira Curry, 56, of Stone Mountain, Ga., took the cash option, leaving her a total of $120 million after taxes, Georgia Lottery president Debbie Alford told CNN.
 
CNN reported that Curry hand-picked numbers from a mixture of family birthdays and the lucky number 7.
 
 
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