Jan 3, 2014 12:50 PM
The California Lottery has announced today Steve Tran from Northern California has finally claimed his $324 million prize. Tran stepped forward to the California Lottery’s District Office in Sacramento yesterday.
The Lottery stated today Tran was unwilling to divulge his age or from where in Northern California he is from.
More than half a billion dollars was up for on December 17, 2013. Tran told the Lottery he and his family enjoy visiting San Jose often for its Vietnamese community. On the Saturday before the draw, they stopped by Jennifer’s Gift Shop on 1818 Tully Road in San Jose and bought five Quick Pick tickets.
Tran told the Lottery he enjoyed watching the frenzy unfold on the media as the San Jose winner remained a mystery for weeks. The details remain murky, but Tran reportedly told the Lottery he took so long to claim his prize because he added the winning ticket to a pile of other Lottery tickets he purchased from several other towns while making runs as a delivery driver. The golden ticket sat for weeks waiting to be discovered as Tran’s family was on vacation until one day it clicked for him.
“I woke up in the middle of the night. I remembered, I think I went to San Jose,” Tran told Lottery Officials.
Tran checked his tickets this last Monday and found he indeed had hit the jackpot. He said he phoned his boss and left a message that went something like this: “I’m really sorry boss. I hit the jackpot. I don’t think I’m going to come in today, tomorrow, or ever.”
Tran will share his winnings with a fellow winner in Georgia who will each get a total of $324 million. The cash equivalent for each ticket is $173.8 million before federal taxes. Tran has 60 days to select his payment option.
The owner of Jennifer’s Gift Shop is also receiving a million dollar bonus.
Had Tran not stepped forward to claim his winnings, a share of the Lottery winnings would have been placed into funding for the California school system.