SAN JOSE, Calif. (KTVU) - In the coming weeks, the California Lottery could begin paying a state resident more than half a billion dollars. This, after an unnamed player bought the only ticket matching all six lottery numbers from the recent drawing, and the mega number. Those numbers are 1-2-4-19-29, and the Mega Number 20.
Wednesday morning, California Lottery officials hoisted a sign above the front door of Ernie’s Liquors reading, “Millionaire Made Here. Are You Next?” Lady Luck smiled on both the store and its owner.
“I would like to thank California state as well. They have made us realize our dream that we longed for. That we came here for,” said Kewal Sacdev.
He and his family immigrated to the Bay Area decades ago and now will receive a percentage of the $543 million dollar jackpot. That’s a cool $1 million for the entrepreneurs since 2000.
“The United States is a country where you can realize your dreams really well,” said Sacdev.
Lottery officials say this inflated jackpot is a result of weekly drawings rolling over since May.
“This is the second time a mega millions jackpot of this level has been won in the beautiful city of San Jose,” said Russ Lopes of the California Lottery, to cheers from bystanders outside the store.
Millions of players across the country had put in two bucks weekly, hoping for the best, and going for broke.
“I wish I could be next,” said Nita Mesde, as she held a small envelope packed with old lottery tickets.
A couple from McLean, Virginia, visiting family in the South Bay, had winning numbers, but only three of six, and the mega number..
“Every time somebody wins, it’s in this place, California. So my husband said oh we’re gonna try our luck. And we bought a ticket,” said Imelda Rilleera.
They won $169, and came to collect immediately. The jackpot winner still hasn’t been seen or heard from. Lottery officials say it’ll take about two weeks to verify the winner actually has the winning ticket, and then another month before they receive their money. If they take the lump-sum payment, that $543 million will be $320 million. Of course they still have to pay taxes. Officials say another winner in this game of chance is state education, which received $1.5 billion from last year’s lottery taxes..
“That’s about each kid is gonna get about $240 average daily attendance money.”
So, the next time Ernie’s opens, it could be to increased customer traffic, as regular and new players scan the numbers in hopes of being the next multi-millionaire.