Walter F. Tracey slept in until about 1 p.m. Sunday, then got a surprising jolt. The 80-year-old World War II Navy pilot checked the newspaper, and there it was in black and white: He had the winning numbers for the $100 million SuperLotto Plus jackpot.
About two hours later, when with the help of a cane he walked into J.P. Liquors in Los Altos, he learned he was one of three jackpot winners. He would receive $33.3 million, minus taxes, and the fortunes of his large family would change.
“I haven’t gotten a whoop or holler out of him yet,” said his smiling son Paul Tracey, 41, who lives with his father in Los Altos Hills.
After having several strokes since 1989, Walter Tracey said he doesn’t feel or show much emotion. But sitting in a chair in his living room later, mulling over his good fortune, he gave up a small smile and admitted, “I am very happy.”
The other winning tickets were purchased in Sausalito and Huntington Beach, California Lottery officials said Sunday. The winning numbers in Saturday’s drawing were 17, 18, 28, 33, 39, with 19 the Meganumber.
Tracey’s winnings came on top of another recent family jackpot: The birth 10 days ago of his 14th grandchild, Amelia, to Paul Tracey and his wife, Ivka. “She is a beautiful little baby girl,” her grandpa said.
“This money will go to a lot of family and benefit them,” Walter Tracey said. His top priority is education. Although his kids are grown, the oldest grandchildren are just reaching college age.
Tracey’s wife of 57 years died more than three years ago, and he said he still thinks of her every day. The two young Irish immigrants met and fell in love in Boston, and eventually had eight children.
The news of a jackpot winner in Los Altos prompted a steady stream of visitors Sunday to the family-run J.P. Liquors, where longtime owner Greg Rivera looked on as customers — including the Traceys — laid down their tickets to see whether they had won.
Having sold a winning ticket, Rivera gets a taste of the prize — in this case, $166,666.
“We told him we were going to put a new roof on the store for him if we won,” said Helen Catton, who goes by the nickname “Hellcat.” Catton, who buys one lottery ticket for herself and another for her husband each trip, still couldn’t believe the store had its second jackpot winner. A woman won about $8 million several years ago, Rivera said.
When the ticket-scanning machine flashed up “congratulations,” on the screen, Kamran Lahiji laughed and said, “It’s me! Call the ambulance!” But he’d won only $10 on the $2 worth of tickets.
Before heading home after the hoopla at the liquor store, Tracey and his son stopped at St. Nicholas Catholic Church, where he has worshiped since moving to the area in 1952. He gave thanks to God and talked to the pastor.
Tracey has played the lotto religiously for the past five years, said his son, who is charged with buying him tickets about twice a week.
“It’s a pain in the butt sometimes, he’s so insistent about getting the tickets,” Paul Tracey said.
In buying those tickets week in and week out, he never expected to be a millionaire, Walter Tracey said. “I was thinking not of me, but the family.”
On Saturday, Paul Tracey spent $40 on tickets. Most were quick-pick numbers. Paul Tracy gave his father two tickets and kept two.
Earlier Sunday, Paul Tracey had heard on the radio that Los Altos had a Togel jackpot winner.
“I thought, `That eliminates a lot of people and increases our odds.’ Before he went upstairs to take a nap, he said, he’d told his wife he was not going to check the numbers “because I wanted to live the dream as long as possible.”
He was napping upstairs when his wife told him it was no dream — it appeared his dad had won the jackpot. “My eyes just about popped out of my head,” he said.
A Phi Beta Kappa economics graduate of Stanford University, Walter Tracey was a decorated B-24 pilot who flew in the battle for Iwo Jima. He served in the Navy for 24 years before going to work for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. His career ended after his first stroke.
Most of his newfound riches will be distributed among his family, Walter Tracey said. But there also are a few neglected home repairs he is contemplating, including replacing his cracked concrete driveway and rebuilding a collapsing pool house.
Paul Tracey, who teaches and coaches at St. Cyprian School in Sunnyvale, says he has no quarrels with fate about handing over what turned out to be the winning ticket to his dad.
“Had I won, I would have shared it with my brothers and sisters as well. There’s definitely some people in the family who could use the help.”
View: California Lottery
Source: Mercury News
Missoula ticket wins $30,000 lottery jackpot
HELENA – A Montana Cash lottery ticket sold in Missoula matched numbers for the game’s $30,000 jackpot in the weekend drawing.
The ticket sold at the Noon’s convenience store on West Broadway bears the numbers 6-7-20-27-34.
No tickets matched all the numbers needed to win any of the jackpots for three other lotteries offered in Montana.
The Wild Card jackpot rises to $160,000 and the Hot Lotto jackpot is estimated at $9.7 million. The Powerball jackpot is estimated at $36 million. The new Montana Cash jackpot is $20,000.
The winning numbers drawn Saturday:
Wild Card: 5-8-27-28-31. Wild Card King of Hearts.
Hot Lotto: 4-14-23-34-35. Hot Ball 15.
Powerball: 6-30-35-39-45. Powerball 31. Power Play 3.
Toronto couple claims $26.8M jackpot
Tze-Lam Chan will be doing Tuesday morning what every worker dreams of: calling his boss to tell him he’s quitting after winning the $26.8-million jackpot in the Super 7 lottery.
Chan and his wife, Mei-Ling Chan, were at the Ontario Lottery Corp. office in downtown Toronto on Monday afternoon to be presented with a cheque for $26,879,379 – the third-largest jackpot from a single ticket in Canadian history.
Tze-Lam said as he watched the winning numbers being called out on television Friday night, his mind went blank.
“In my mind, it’s nothing,” the Hong Kong native said in broken English. “I couldn’t think anything.”
With the numbers from his ticket already memorized, the 51-year-old Toronto jeweller yelled out to his wife that they had won.
“I said, `crazy man,'” said Mei-Ling, 49, adding that she thought if they had won, it would be just a few thousand dollars.
When the couple realized they had the winning ticket, they “hugged for sure” and even “danced a little.”
The amount has finally taken on a ring of reality since it was wired into a new Royal Bank account first thing Monday morning.
“They came and asked to deal with someone who could speak their language, Cantonese, and I quickly sorted everything out for them,” said RBC financial adviser Cynthia Lee.
Tze-Lam came over to Canada from Hong Kong in 1977. Mei-Ling arrived in 1985. The couple have a 16-year-old son.
Tze-Lam said he can’t wait to vacate his modest east-end flat for a bigger home, somewhere on Toronto’s lakefront.
Mei-Ling, a homemaker, said she plans to buy diamonds. The gems don’t have to be huge, but she wants them to be clear, with “good colour.”
The newly minted millionaires aren’t planning to splurge unnecessarily.
“We hope I don’t change too much,” Tze-Lam said.
The couple plans to go on a cruise holiday, then figure out how best to help their family with their new-found wealth. There’s one purchase Tze-Lam is already considering.
“If possible, I may buy a boat,” he said. “Like a 40-foot or something.”
But before the couple goes shopping, they plan to catch up on their sleep.
“I am so tired,” Tze-Lam said. “I need nice sleep. Two nights I didn’t sleep. Excited, you know. Lots of things on my mind.”
George Sweeney, senior vice-president of the lottery corporation, said sleep deprivation is common among big winners.
“There is a lot of excitement and anxiety until they actually come in, so it’s understandable that they haven’t had any sleep since they first found out,” he said.