Santa Ana Man Gets Early Gift of $1 Million


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.


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.


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.