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Santa Ana Man Gets Early Gift of $1 Million

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Christmas came 17 days early Saturday to the modest Hevener household in the form of a $1-million winning spin on the California Lottery wheel.

Frank Hevener, an auto mechanic, and his wife, Teresa, a one-time bus driver, plan to use the money to buy a new refrigerator and probably a new home for their family of three boys, Jamie, Joshua and Jeremy. The Heveners now rent a small, bottom-floor apartment in an older complex of condominiums in Santa Ana near McFadden Avenue and Harbor Boulevard.

The windfall, which will amount to $40,000 annually for the next 20 years after federal taxes, will also allow Frank Hevener,31, to go into semi-retirement, he said Saturday.

“I won’t have to work as hard any more,” said Hevener, whom lottery officials described as “somewhat stunned and sort of quiet” after his win.

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Teresa Hevener “was crying in a happy sort of way,” and the three boys hugged each other, said lottery officials.

Hevener bought his winning ticket, along with four others, at a grocery story only a few blocks from his home. He has no system but buys sporadically when he is feeling lucky, he told officials.

Hevener is the 235th winner of $1 million or more on the state lottery’s “The Big Spin” show, which is aired on KTTV Channel 11 at 7 p.m. on Saturday evenings.

Hong Lee, a cashier who lives in Fullerton, also appeared on Saturday’s show and won $10,000.

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After their fortuitous turns of the wheel, they were chauffeured in a limousine to the Omni Hotel in where they had stayed Friday night as the guest of state lottery officials.

--Times wire services contributed to this story.


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