San Jose Mega Millions Winner Still Hasn't Claimed Prize

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    NBC Bay Area
    A winning Mega Million lottery ticket was sold at this shop in San Jose.

    While the identity of the person who purchased one of two Mega Millions lottery winning tickets is a mystery, lottery officials said Friday that big prize winners often delay coming forward until after getting advice.

    The California Lottery said Friday that the winning ticket holder who purchased it at a gift shop in San Jose had not come forward.

    The jackpot is now revised up to $648 million. The name of a second winner in Georgia has already been announced.

    San Jose Shop Owner Who Sold Winning Mega Millions Lottery Ticket Feels ''Lucky'

    [BAY] San Jose Shop Owner Who Sold Winning Mega Millions Lottery Ticket Feels ''Lucky'
    The mood was all party on Wednesday at a small San Jose gift shop tucked inside a suburban strip mall where a Vietnam-born owner sold a $648 million Mega Millions jackpot ticket. Christie Smith and Chase Cain report.

    Lottery spokesman Alex Traverso says the winner has a year to claim the money, and that it's common for people to want to have a plan before handling newfound wealth and attention.

    "It's fairly common in cases like this that they've hired financial representation and an attorney so they come forward with a plan of action,'' Traverso said.

    The jackpot comes to a total of $324 million per winner, or a $173.8 million lump sum before taxes.

    "That's not a check you can just walk to the local credit union and plug into the ATM,'' Traverso said.

    Of course, it's also common for people to have misplaced the ticket or simply have forgotten about it.

    If months go by with no claimant, Traverso said officials will identify the time the ticket was purchased and use surveillance cameras to try and get an image that can be released publicly.

    Lottery officials say they have a pretty good record of tracking people down.

    In one case in Bakersfield, a winner had forgotten about a ticket that was worth $23 million dollars.

    Traverso said the person saw their picture in the local paper, and remembered they'd left the winning ticket in the door pocket of their car.

    The ticket had been set to expire in three weeks.

    "That person came right in and claimed their $23 million,'' Traverso said.

    Aside from the mystery San Jose ticket buyer, the other Mega Millions winner bought a ticket in Georgia from the Gateway Newsstand in Atlanta. The Georgia winner was identified as Ira Curry from Stone Mountain, Ga., by lottery officials on Wednesday.

    Curry chose to take $170 million in one lump sum. It's unclear if the San Jose winner will do that, or take $324 million over several years. And don't forget to subtract 25 percent in federal taxes. The California winner doesn't have to pay any taxes on the win.

    In case you missed it, the ticket's winning numbers are: 8, 14, 17, 20, 29; Mega Ball: 7.