The winning lottery ticket in the Dec. 17, 2012 Mega Millions draw. (California Lottery photo)
Steve Tran, a delivery driver from Northern California, is  the second of two winners of the $636 million Mega Millions jackpot drawn on Dec. 17. Tran appeared at California Lottery headquarters in Sacramento Thursday with his winning ticket, worth $324 million.

Tran, who will take his winnings in one lump sum and will receive $173.8 million before federal taxes, bought his ticket at Jenny’s Gift Shop on Tully Road in San Jose. (The gift shop owner will receive $1 million.)

Tran did not want to speak to the media, but shared some of his story with lottery officials. According to the Mercury News, he told officials:

On the day after the winning numbers were drawn, Tran said he watched the story in the news, not knowing he was the lucky winner.

“Everybody was anxious, looking for the person,” Tran told the California Lottery. “Must be a lucky man.”

Tran said he did not realize he was in possession of the winning ticket until Monday. Tran said he has a pile of lottery tickets purchased from other towns sitting on his drawer, and out of nowhere he realized he may have bought a ticket in San Jose.

“I woke up in the middle of the night,” Tran told the Lottery officials. “I remembered, I think I went to San Jose.”

When Tran checked his tickets, he made the $324 millions discovery. He was a multi-millionaire.

Tran says he and his family visit San Jose because there is a large Vietnamese community there, plus they can eat and shop. Tran said he bought five quick pick tickets at Jenny’s Gift & Kids Wear, a store tucked away in a Tully Road strip mall.

Tran’s jackpot, shared with Ira Curry of Georgia, is the second-largest in U.S. history. Curry is taking her winnings as a lump sum as well — $123 million after taxes.

Tran told lottery officials that after learning he had the winning ticket, he called his boss and said, “I’m really sorry, boss. I hit the jackpot. I don’t think I’m going to come in today, tomorrow, or ever.”

What are the odds of winning the lottery? Not good — check out KQED’s infographic to find out why. But we can dream, can’t we?

 

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