Delivery Driver, Steve Tran, won a 50% share of the second largest lottery jackpot in US history and never even realized it until he checked his numbers two weeks later.
Tran's numbers did him proud in the December 17, (US) Mega Millions draw, and, with a jackpot of $638 million up for grabs, many players were probably watching the draw with their tickets at the ready, but Tran's ticket was just one of many he had picked up from different towns on his delivery route, and he'd tossed it with the rest and forgotten about it. He even managed to fit in a short vacation before checking his ticket.
When he returned home, last Monday, the trucker learned that a winning ticket had been purchased in San Jose, but still failed to give his pile of tickets a second thought until the early hours of the morning. "I woke up in the middle of the night," Tran explained to lottery officials. "I remembered, 'I think I went to San Jose.'"
Tran finally claimed his prize on Thursday, and he still has 60 days left to decide how to take his half of the jackpot. He can either choose to take it in annuity payments over the next 30 years, or take it as a lump-sum, valued at $173.8 million before taxes. The second winner, Ira Curry from Georgia, came forward the day after the draw and has already opted to take her share as a lump sum of $120 million, after Georgia and Federal taxes.