Fifty-year-old Mahendra KC has been dreaming about winning it big ever since he immigrated to the Bay Area from the Himalayan kingdom of Nepal 10 years ago.
On Tuesday night, it finally happened.
The San Francisco taxi cab driver is the owner of a Mega Millions lottery ticket worth $1.9 million that was sold at the Huntington Liquor store in San Bruno.
According to a press release from California Lottery, KC paid a dollar for a Mega Millions Quick Pick, and drove up in his taxi with a ticket that matched five of the six numbers (11-19-24-33-51) in Tuesday’s huge $414 million jackpot draw.
“My dad has been buying lottery for 10 years, hoping he would get the jackpot or some big amount,” Mahendra’s son Niranjan said. “He is really excited about it. He was lost for words.”
KC missed the winning Mega number 7 by only one number – his ticket had Mega number 8.
“It’s just a life-changing situation here,” KC’s daughter Chandani said in the press release, translating for her father. “Now whatever dreams we always had all together as a family, they’re going to be true.”
KC showed up at the lottery office to claim his fortune the minute it opened on Wednesday.
“I think my dad only had 3-4 hours of sleep because once you win the ticket of a very big amount, the first thing you think about is safety – am I going to lose it. So we came early to turn it in just to be on the safe side,” Chandani said.
According to KC’s children, it’s too early to predict whether their parents will keep working. KC’s wife works as a housekeeper at a San Francisco hotel.
“We haven’t decided. We’re just kind of really over-excited right now. We’re not thinking of anything else,” Chandani said.
Niranjan said that the family plans to use some of the winnings to seek organ transplants for their grandparents and to have KC’s chronic heart problem address. He hopes that the money can also be used to pay off student loans.
“We’ve worked so hard throughout our life.” he said. “That’s all my dad thinks about is winning the lottery. Hopefully our lives change now. It’s pretty much an [American] dream come true.”