YUBA CITY (CBS13) — A Mega Millions lottery ticket worth $330,106 was purchased in Yuba City the day after Christmas, but the big winner just claimed the prize Thursday.
What took him so long to cash in? He couldn’t find the ticket.
“I couldn’t find it, and finally I said, ‘Well, it’s gone,’ Jesse McGinnis, 55, told CBS13′s Ben Sosenko on Friday.
“I saw the article in the paper, somebody in Yuba City hits Mega Millions, and it gave the address of the 7-Eleven, and that’s the only one on Butte House Road (where he bought his).”
As the days went by, and the ticket remained unclaimed, Jessie started to get the sinking feeling that he had lost the winning ticket. He thought he looked everywhere.
“When I couldn’t find it the first couple days, I had trouble sleeping,” he said.
After searching for several days, there it was stuck to a box in a kitchen cupboard in his office in Bakersfield where he spends half the month for his job with Chevron.
Jessie called home to tell his family the good news.
“He was like freaking out,” one of his teenage daughters said, “and we started freaking out.”
“It sounded like you were having a heart attack,” his son recalled.
Jessie says he will pay off his debts and put money away for college for his three teenage children.
But before he cashed in his winning prize, he had to stop by and see the clerk who sold him his first lottery ticket in two years.
“I walked in, grabbed her by the arms and kissed her on the forehead,” he said. “She said ‘You have the ticket? I said ‘Yes I do.’”