“I’m hoping it doesn’t change my life,”...

<i> From Staff and Wire Reports</i>

“I’m hoping it doesn’t change my life,” Long Beach longshoreman A. Richard Ross said somewhat wistfully Monday after he and a friend, Bertha Jennings of Los Angeles, won $12.72 million in the California Lottery.

“But it already has,” he conceded at a Biltmore Hotel press conference. “I can’t answer the phone.”

A lot of old friends, presumably, have resurfaced.

Ross, 47, and Jennings, who bought 25 Lotto tickets at a Long Beach 7-Eleven store on Saturday, will split an annual after-tax $508,800 check for the next 20 years.


The jackpot was a record-breaking $25.44 million, half of which went to retired car salesman Wayne Fast, 62, of Carmichael, in the Sacramento area. He picked the same combination.

What works? Fast used his social security number. Ross and Jennings chose at random.

Although Ross said he does not intend to quit his job, Jennings bailed out of hers as secretary for a printing company as soon as she learned she won. She is thinking of going after her master’s degree in psychology.

Ross and Jennings each have four children.

The California Lottery people, by the way, say the owners of the 7-Eleven at 5103 Pacific Coast Highway, where Ross and Jennings bought their ticket, will receive a $63,600 bonus. Over half that will go to the parent Southland Corp., according to Patricia Nash, who with her husband, Ron, holds the franchise.

Nevertheless, she noted, that leaves $29,000, which is not too bad.

“Our employees want to know what percentage they’re going to get,” Nash said. “We’ll work something out.”

Things were not so cheerful, however, at another convenience store Monday, on Rolling Hills Road in Torrance, where a red Bentley came crashing in at about 12:30 a.m.

The way police first heard it from the startled clerk was that a woman driver rammed the classy vehicle right through the window.


As it turned out, that wasn’t quite accurate, noted Torrance Sgt. Harold Maestri. He said that Dieter Ratsch, 46, an unemployed Rancho Palos Verdes aerospace worker, apparently returned to the car after making a purchase and appeared to be on the passenger side with his companion driving.

But the Bentley was truly British. The steering wheel is on the right side. So it was Ratsch who was driving.

Ratsch reportedly told police he thought he was putting the Bentley into reverse, but slipped it into drive instead.

Maestri said Ratsch flunked a sobriety test and was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving.

No one was injured, but the store and the Bentley will need a little work.

The store was a Stop N Go.

There was unhappiness Monday on both sides of the political aisle:

Jeffrey Seymour, 20, son of state Sen. John Seymour (R-Orange), was arrested with a friend, Sean Morphew, 22, for allegedly assaulting a security guard at the Holiday Inn in Hollywood during a party sponsored by radio station KPWR-FM, police reported.

They were released on their own recognizance.

Barbara Coleman, 55, the older sister of state Sen. Diane Watson (D-Los Angeles), pleaded innocent in Los Angeles federal court on federal charges that she conspired with two others to steal a $9.5-million government check. The indictment, returned last week, alleges that one of the accused reprogrammed a Defense Contract Administration Services computer to issue the check to a firm set up by Coleman and a third defendant.