Mega millions winners and the lucky owners of one of the two winning tickets sold in the 360 million dollar (£246m), 42 state Mega Millions lotto stepped forward on January 8, to claim half of the cash prize. The $360 million prize, the second largest in US history, will be evenly split between Jim & Carolyn McCullar and the yet unknown individual who can produce the second winning ticket.
Jim McCullar, 68, chose the winning numbers (4, 8, 15, 25, 47, and Mega Ball 42) at a Safeway Supermarket in his hometown of Ephrata, a tiny enclave of 7500 residents in the eastern part of Washington State.
Curiously, the yet unclaimed second winning ticket was sold just 120 miles away, at a rural potato farming community of Post Falls, Idaho. In a second strange twist, the first three winning numbers (4, 8, 15 and Mega Ball 42) were a major part of the plot of the mega millions winners number one rated American TV show: Lost.
Jim McCullar arrived with his wife of 42 years and just eight dollars in his pocket to pick up the oversized 190 million dollar check. The retired couple has six children, 23 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
The lucky mega millions winners have 2 months to decide whether to accept a lump sum of $90 million (after the 25% federal tax) or 26 installments of $5.5 million each year.
Idaho has a state tax unlike Washington; so the lump sum will be just 83 million dollars for the second, yet unknown winner. The mysterious second winner has just 190 days to produce the mega millions winners ticket and claim the prize or the ticket will become void.