According to a press release from the California Lottery, the winner of the second largest lottery jackpot in history has been claimed by truck driver Steve Tran.
Tran, a resident of Northern California, claimed his $324 million prize late Thursday afternoon.
Tran told lottery officials that he purchased the December 17, lottery ticket in the hopes of being able to pay off some bills. He purchased 5 Quick Pick tickets from Jennifer’s Gift Shop in San Jose.
Tran then went home and placed the five tickets with a pile of old lottery tickets. And that’s where the winning ticket sat for 2 weeks.
“Everybody was anxious, looking for the person,” Tran said about the media coverage. Little did Tran know, the nation was looking for him.
In the meantime, Tran and his family went on vacation. When they returned, a thought struck him, “I woke up in the middle of the night. I remembered, I think I went to San Jose.”
At 3:00 a.m. on Monday, Tran got up and checked his tickets and discovered he had the winning ticket. He began calling his family and letting them know of his windfall. Then he called his boss and left a message, “I’m really sorry boss. I hit the jackpot. I don’t think I’m going to come in today, tomorrow, or ever,” Tran said.
Here are some quick facts about the win:
• Total final jackpot amount: $648 million (2nd largest jackpot in U.S. history).
• The jackpot will be split between the winners in Georgia and California. Each winner will receive $324 million each.
• If each winner decides to take the cash option, the lump sum will be $173.8 million each (before taxes)
• The federal tax rate is 25%. The California winner does not have to pay state tax on the win.