The city of Morro Bay is abuzz with lotto fever after the announcement on Aug. 27 that a lone winner matched all six numbers for the Mega Millions jackpot of $133 million—and that the ticket was sold at Bottle Liquor and Deli.
As of press time, no one had yet claimed the ticket, which needs to be certified by the California State Lottery Commission before the money can be redeemed, said spokeswoman Kelly Kel. The winner can choose to either accept a lump sum payment of $92.4 million, after taxes, or receive annual payments for the next 26 years, Kel said.
“We can’t wait to see who comes forward,” said Nick Martinez, the manager of Bottle Liquor. “I hope it’s a local, but I’d be content if it’s anyone truly in need.”
The big winner could be anybody, but Chuck Harper—who, with his parents, co-owns the liquor store—will get a piece of the pie. Harper will cash in on one half of one percent of the winnings, which comes out to $665,000. It’s an incentive for businesses to carry lottery products, Kel said.
Harper hasn’t decided how to spend the money or whether he’ll give any to charity.
“It’ll be at least a month before we get the money, and we’ll have to talk it over with our accountants before we make any decisions,” he said.
In the meantime, Harper said everything’s returned to normal after the excitement and he’s back at work running the business. But somewhere out there, someone’s got a golden ticket that can provide the yachts, mansions, travel, and leisure to ensure a lifetime of anything but normal work. ∆