Mega Millions lottery winner, Steve Tran has finally come forward to come claim his half of the $648 million jackpot, according to a Jan. 3 Los Angeles Times report. Tran took several weeks to claim his winning Mega Million $324 million prize, with an estimated cash option of 173.8 million, because he forgot about it.
Tran, who works a delivery route that includes multiple cities, bought the ticket in San Jose and kept it away in drawer before leaving for vacation, lottery officials said. When he returned and caught up with all the Mega Millions media coverage, it finally hit him. The Northern California resident “woke up in the middle of the night” and remembered, “I think I went to San Jose,” California lottery officials explained.
He then checked his ticket at 3.a.m Monday and found out he had won the jackpot. He reportedly gave his wife a smile and quit his job. “I’m really sorry, boss. I hit the jackpot. I don’t think I’m going to come in today, tomorrow or ever,” the new Mega Millions winner said in voicemail message to his boss.
According to ABC News, an oblivious Tran had followed the media coverage wondering who the second winner was. “Everybody was anxious, looking for the person,” Tran said and remembered thinking that the winner “must be a lucky man.”
After the drawing a Georgia woman came forward to claim half of the $648 million prize. Officials knew the second winner had purchased the ticket from Jennifer’s Gift Shop in San Jose. The owner of the San Jose store where the ticket was sold will also take home his own prize of $1 million, according to lottery officials.