How Steve Tran sat on a $324 million fortune... and did not know about it

The winning lottery ticket in the Dec. 17, 2012 Mega Millions draw. (California Lottery photo)

He was sitting on a fortune. Literally. Steve Tran from Northern California was one of the winners of a $324 million lottery and for two weeks, he did not know he had the winning ticket.

According to the Mercury News Tran came forward to collect his prize the day after New Year's -- and just three days after he realized he had the ticket -- to claim $173.8 million, before taxes.

He is one of two winners in the $648 million drawing the second-largest jackpot in US history. The other, Ira Curry, of Georgia, also took her bonanza as a lump sum $123 million after taxes.

Tran is a deliver driver and bought lottery tickets in several town he made deliveries to, including San Jose.
The winning numbers were drawn Decemebr 17, according to the Mercury report, and when no one came forward, the story was all but forgotten.

The fact is Tran know he was the winner until this week.

When he and his family returned from a trip and about 3 am last Monday, Tran says, "I woke up in the middle of the night," Tran told lottery officials. "I remembered, I think I went to San Jose."

Tran checked his tickets and made the $324 million discovery and then made a phone call to his boss.


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