Mega Millions jackpot winner comes forward with $324-million ticket

Customers crowd Jenny's Gift Shop in San Jose, where one of two winning tickets was sold for last month's $648-million Mega Millions jackpot drawing.
(Ben Margot / Associated Press)
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The second owner of a winning Mega Millions ticket worth $324 million has come forward to claim his prize, lottery officials announced Friday.

Steve Tran of Northern California is the owner of one of two winning tickets for last month’s $648-million Mega Millions jackpot drawing, a prize that lottery officials said was the second largest in U.S. history.

Tran purchased his ticket in San Jose. The other winner, a Georgia resident who has already come forward, purchased her ticket in Atlanta.


Tran’s winning ticket -- with numbers 8, 14, 17, 20, 39 and a Mega number of 7 -- was sold at Jenny’s Gift Shop in San Jose, according to state Lottery spokesman Alex Traverso.

Each winner’s ticket is worth $324 million; if the cash option is chosen, each ticket is worth $173.8 million before taxes.

Tran, Traverso said, got excited watching the hubbub over the winner in San Jose the day after the drawing.

“Everybody was anxious, looking for the person,” Tran said about the media coverage, according to a news release from the California Lottery.

Officials did not release Tran’s age or city of residence Friday.

Throughout it all, Tran apparently had no idea he was the winner.

“Tran said he added that ticket to a pile of other lottery tickets he had purchased in multiple other towns while making his runs as a delivery driver. According to Tran, the entire lot ended up, ‘just sitting in my house, on top of my drawer,’ ” according to the lottery.

Tran’s family then went on vacation without checking the tickets.

Upon returning recently, Tran told lottery officials that he “woke up in the middle of the night” and remembered: “I think I went to San Jose.”


At 3 a.m. Monday, he checked his ticket and discovered he was a winner. He gave his wife a smile and a hug, and then left a message for his boss: “I’m really sorry boss. I hit the jackpot. I don’t think I’m going to come in today, tomorrow, or ever.”


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