Entries in Winner (5)


Winner of California Lottery Comes Forward After Five Months to Claim $23 Million

Adam Gault/Thinkstock(PALMDALE, Calif.) -- The lucky winner of California’s SuperLotto Plus Jackpot has finally come forward to claim her $23 million, just 25 days short of forfeiting the prize.

“We had our winner come forward and claim the $23 million prize,” confirmed California Lottery spokesperson Alex Traverso to ABC News. “She said she just never checked the ticket.”

The woman’s daughter snapped a photo of her mother in the newspaper Thursday morning — the photo was taken from the surveillance video at the store where the winning ticket was sold — and sent her the picture.

“When her daughter sent her mother a picture of the newspaper this morning, she just went back out to the car and the ticket was sitting right where she left it. Pretty amazing.”

The winner filed her claim Thursday and, according to officials, should be receiving her check in four to six weeks. However, it’s been a long five months for California Lottery officials who had been searching for the mystery winner, who purchased the winning ticket at Michael’s Market & Liquor in Palmdale, Calif.

Before the individual came forward, liquor store manager Ben Sadi told ABC News he remembers the day the woman bought the ticket.

“I know what she looked like and I recognize who she is,” said Liquor store manager Ben Sadi.

Sadi’s store opened on May 1, and four weeks later, on May 28, the winning ticket was pulled.

The ticket matched all six numbers – 14, 7, 26, 31, 23 and Mega 5. After the liquor store learned they had sold the winning ticket, they posted signs outside the store along with photos from surveillance of the alleged winner.

“We have signs outside that say, ‘The millionaire made here,’ with the check that she won, the $23 million,” he said.

Sadi’s store will receive a bonus of one half percent for selling the winning ticket, which amounts to $115,000.

“I was really really happy, really extremely happy. Our first store, we hit the lotto,” said Sadi.

If the money was not claimed by Nov. 26, 2012, the prize would have been transferred to California schools.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


24-Year-Old Wins $8.53M at Poker in 12 Hours

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(LAS VEGAS) -- After nearly 12 hours and 400 hands, a poker player from Maryland has received the biggest treat possible this Halloween:  $8.53 million.

Greg Merson, 24, won the World Series of Poker tournament before dawn Wednesday in Las Vegas at the Penn and Teller Theater.  The tournament was an all-night, no-limit Texas hold ‘em marathon playing session that nearly broke the all-time record for duration, according to the World Series of Poker website.

Merson beat Las Vegas native Jesse Sylvia, 26, when he went all-in with a king-high. Three sixes, a three, a nine and a seven, plus his king-high, led to Merson’s victory over Sylvia’s queen-high.

Merson was also presented with the game’s ultimate symbol of achievement – the Jason of Beverly Hills designed gold and platinum bracelet encrusted with diamonds.

In addition to the $8.53 million, Merson also received the 2012 World Series of Poker Player of the Year honor, which in a points-based system rewards the player who posts the greatest accumulated results over the course of all 68 gold bracelet events played in a calendar year.

Merson attended the University of Maryland and has been playing poker full-time for about five years.

According to the World Series of Poker website, young players have done exceptionally well in the main event. The past five world champions were between 21 and 24 years old.

Sylvia, who placed second, won $5.3 million, while 21-year-old Jake Ballinger won $3.8 million for third place.

The World Series of Poker tournament began last summer at the Rio Las Vegas with 6,598 entrants, making it the fifth-largest live poker tournament in history.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mystery Winner of $52 Million Lotto Comes Forward 

California Lottery released this image, taken from video, of the person they believed to be the winner of a $52 million MegaMillions jackpot. (California Lottery)(FREMONT, Calif.) -- The hunt for a mysterious lottery winner whose photo was released in an effort to find him this week is apparently over. The man has come forward to claim his prize in California.

California lottery officials said the man would be introduced at a press conference at 6 p.m. ET Friday. They earlier released a still shot of the man, dressed in a white T-shirt and sunglasses, buying the winning ticket at a Kwik Stop in Fremont, Calif.

The man is set to claim the $52 million prize from the July 27 drawing of the Mega Millions lottery, according to officials.

The mysterious winner had checked the winning ticket multiple times at Raley's and Safeway stores in the Bay Area, in Northern California, but had not officially come forward to claim the prize, according to the lottery commission.

Mega Millions winners have one year from the time of the drawing to claim their prize.

"The California Lottery truly believes that when a person buys a lottery ticket with the hope and prayer of changing their lives, we should do all we can to connect them with their winnings. We believe this effort will make a lot of Californians very happy," said Russ Lopez, deputy director of corporate communications for the lottery.

The California Lottery said it began sending out photos of all apparent winners of unclaimed prizes recently. In fiscal year 2011-2012, more than $20 million went unclaimed, it said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Seven New York IT Workers Reportedly Win $319 Million Jackpot

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(ALBANY, N.Y.) -- A handful of New York state government workers may be able to quit their jobs, if reports are true that the group of seven were the lucky ones who hit the $319 million Mega Millions jackpot in Friday night's drawing.

Emanuel Biondi, Public Employees Federation Council leader for New York's Division of Housing and Community Renewal, told CNN the big winners were seven information technology professionals at the agency.

No one has stepped forward to claim the prize or state that they're holding the winning ticket.  The state lottery office has been closed since the drawing Friday night.

The winning ticket was purchased at Coulson's News Center, a mainstay downtown news and convenience store in the state capital of Albany, according to the Mega Millions website.

"It's very neat to know someone who comes into my store is going to be very wealthy from a ticket we sold them.  It makes me feel warm inside," Steve Hutchins, owner of Coulson, told

The winning numbers were 22-24-31-52-54, with Megaball number 4.  The jackpot is the sixth-highest in the game's history.  The largest jackpot was $390 million in March 2007.

If the winner or winners take the prize in a one-time lump sum, the payment will be $202.9 million after taxes.

Steve Gallucci, the manager of Coulson's, told ABC affiliate WTEN-TV in Albany that he doesn't yet know who won.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Mega Millions Winner: Jim McCullar of Washington

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(EPHRATA, Wash.) -- Jim McCullar kissed his wife, Carolyn, as he claimed his $190 million share of the Mega Millions lottery, part of the second-largest jackpot in the history of the U.S. lottery.

"I think $190 million is pretty good for this little old Mississippi boy," Jim McCullar said. "People have been good to me all my life. It's called pay it forward."

MCuller, 68, and his wife live in Ephrata, Washington, a town of fewer than 7,000 people, where he works as a real estate agent.

McCullar is one of two people who picked the correct numbers to earn a share of a $380 million Mega Millions bonanza. The other winner, from Idaho, has not contacted lottery officials.

It was Carolyn McCullar's idea to buy two lottery tickets last Sunday while they were grocery shopping in Safeway.

The couple's winning numbers were based upon their birthdays.

The numbers drawn in the jackpot were: 4, 8, 15, 25, 47, and the Mega Ball number was 42.

The couple's second ticket won them $150.

They've been lucky before. Several years ago, they won at least $10,000 playing the Oregon lottery.

The McCullars said that they have no plans to "blow" the money.

"What this means to me is not a jet and traveling all over the world," Jim McCullar said. "What this means to me is that the legacy is going to go generation after generation after generation. My kids, my grandkids, my great grandkids and their kids will never have to worry."

The couple has four kids together. Jim McCullar has two other children from a previous marriage.

The two, who love to golf, moved to Washington State in 2003. Jim McCullar previously worked for Boeing for 20 years as a maintenance instructor.

Washington Lottery communications director Scott Kinney said that the McCullars hand-picked the magic numbers at 3:30 p.m. Sunday.

The Safeway store that sold the winning ticket will receive $50,000.

Washington state will use the money it makes from the lottery for higher education, Kinney said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio