California Lottery officials handed over a symbolic $1 million check to the owners of the Northern California liquor store that sold the sole winning ticket to an estimated $543 million Mega Millions lottery prize.
Russ Lopez, deputy director of corporate communications, said Wednesday outside Ernie’s Liquors in San Jose that the holder of the ticket has one year to claim the prize.
The winner or winners, who have not yet claimed the prize, can take about $320 million in a lump-sum cash option or $543 million over 29 years.
Store owner Kewal Sachdev, 65, was taking a nap when an employee called with news that the store had sold the winning ticket, he told The Mercury News. He has owned the store for nearly two decades.
“I’m still digesting what happened,” he said. “I don’t know at this time how to react.”
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He’s processing the experience, Sachdev said. “In a couple of days, we’ll figure out what happened and what to do about it,” he added.
California schools will get an estimated $50 million from sales, Lopez said.
Mega Millions is a multi-state lottery game and one of two big jackpot games in the United States. The winning numbers were 1, 2, 4, 19, 29 and 20.
The biggest-ever Mega Millions jackpot — $656 million — was won in March 2012. It was shared by winners in Illinois, Kansas and Maryland.