The Mega Millions winning numbers of 4, 8, 15, 25, 47, and Mega Ball number 42 meant a lot to Washington resident Jim McCullar back in 2011. They’re the numbers that made him a $190 million jackpot millionaire in the Mega Millions Lottery Washington and nearly gave him another heart attack.
But when he was presented with the winning cheque by the director of Washington State Lottery in Olympia, he promptly turned and handed it to his wife of 41 years.
A LIFE CHANGING MOMENT
McCullar bought the ticket at a Safeway store in Washington, with odds that he would net the jackpot estimated at 176 million to one. He shared the Mega Millions jackpot with another winner in the state of Idaho. The retired Boeing worker and Vietnam vet, said he had to take his heart medication as the Mega Millions winning numbers were read out by KHQ News.
McCullar and his wife Carolyn had always dreamed of buying a big house and now that they had the big win, it was definitely something that could come true. Jim had to take a photo of his ticket next to the results to convince his children that he had actually won the Washington Mega Millions jackpot.
He said that the family would be looking to pay their luck forward and help out those in need, something they’ve done all their lives, even before they were winners of the Mega Millions Lottery Washington.
A BIG FAMILY WITH AN EYE ON THE FUTURE
The McCullars had a large family of 6 children and 23 grandchildren who would all benefit from the lottery win. Mississippi born Jim said it was his wife’s idea to buy the two lottery tickets that eventually changed their lives. Like many people who do the lottery, their Mega Millions winning numbers were based on their birthdays.
Jim, who had suffered several heart attacks in the past, said they had been lucky before, winning about $10,000 on the Oregon State Lottery. Carolyn was more concerned that Jim was having another heart attack when he came rushing into the bedroom to tell her news of their latest win.
For the couple, the money didn’t mean a life of jet setting around the world. They were looking to create something that would provide for generations to come so that their kids, grandkids and their kids, would have nothing to worry about where money is concerned.
SMALL TOWN SUCCESS
The Mega Millions winner from Washington and his wife, lived in a small town in the state called Ephrata, which has a population of fewer than 7,000 people, where he worked as a real estate agent. Amazingly their second ticket for the draw was also a winner – it netted them a pleasing $150.
The family walked away with a lump sum payment of their Mega Millions jackpot which came to $90,000 million after tax. The Safeway store where they bought the ticket also got a $50,000 bonus for the win.
THE OTHER WINNER GOES MISSING
The second winner of the Mega Millions jackpot was from Idaho and had purchased their ticket from Post Falls just a few miles from the Washington State line. The winner was Holy Lahti and she disappeared almost as soon as she had claimed her prize. She resurfaced in 2013 to give an interview to KREM 2 News where she said: “It’s hard not to change when you’ve had to uproot and move away and start a new life. It was difficult to do.”