The owner of a Mega Millions ticket worth nearly $600,000 was identified today as Berle Simpson, who bought the winner at a Lemon Grove gas station convenience store.
Simpson, whose age and hometown were not provided, won $587,468 in the July 24 drawing, according to the California Lottery. The ticket was bought at an ARCO am/pm minimart at 8001 Broadway.
He got the main five numbers right—46, 5, 51, 9 and 38—but missed the Mega number of 5. Mega numbers can duplicate other numerals in the drawing.
"I immediately freaked," Simpson of the moment he checked the numbers. "I just kept saying this can't be happening."
He said he visited a tax attorney and financial planners before he turned in his ticket so he wouldn't replicate mistakes made by previous winners who blew through their prize money.
He said his one splurge will be on an Audi S5 sports car.
"I haven't even picked out the color yet," Simpson said. "I'll do that when I have my bargaining chips."
The jackpot for tonight's drawing is $13 million.
—City News Service