Mega Millions Winner: Jim McCullar of Washington

PHOTO Mega Millions lottery winner

Jim McCullar kissed his wife, Carolyn, as he claimed his $190 million share of the Mega Millions lottery, part of the second-largest jackpot in the history of the U.S. lottery.

"I think $190 million is pretty good for this little, old Mississippi boy," Jim McCullar said. "People have been good to me all my life. It's called pay it forward."

MCuller, 68, and his wife live in Ephrata, Wash., a town of fewer than 7,000 people, where he works as a real estate agent.

McCullar is one of two people who picked the correct numbers to earn a share of a $380 million Mega Millions bonanza. The other winner, from Idaho, has not contacted lottery officials.

It was Carolyn McCullar's idea to buy two lottery tickets last Sunday while they were grocery shopping in Safeway.

"We were in the store and I said, 'We must get some tickets and use a card and put our numbers down,'" said Carolyn McCullar, 64.

The couple's winning numbers were based upon their birthdays.

The numbers drawn in the jackpot were: 4, 8, 15, 25, 47, and the Mega Ball number was 42.

The couple's second ticket won them $150.

They've been lucky before. Several years ago, they won at least $10,000 playing the Oregon lottery.

This time around, Jim McCullar discovered the couple had won hundreds of millions of dollars while watching the winning numbers be announced on television.

"I thought, 'Oh my good Lord in heaven,'" he said.

Pale and shaking, he ran to his wife who was lying in bed with their three dogs.

Carolyn McCullar thought her husband, who has 12 stents in his heart, was having a heart attack.

"She said, 'Are you ok?'" Jim McCullar said. "I said, 'Yeah, I'm perfect. ... Where are the lottery tickets?'"

Carolyn McCullar grabbed the tickets while her husband pulled up the winning numbers on the computer.

"She looked and she studied, she looked and she studied, and she looked at me and screamed," Jim McCullar said. "Tears started flowing. All she could say, 'Is this real?' I said, 'I pinched myself and I'm awake and this is real.'"

He immediately signed his winning tickets and put them in his wallet. They told their children, close friends and co-workers.

The couple has not decided whether they will take a $90 million lump sum payment after federal taxes or 26 annual installments.

There are no state taxes in Washington.

The couple said that they have no plans to "blow" the money.

"What this means to me is not a jet and traveling all over the world," Jim McCullar said. "What this means to me is that the legacy is going to go generation after generation after generation. My kids, my grandkids, my great grandkids and their kids will never have to worry."

The couple has four kids together. Jim McCullar has two more kids from a previous marriage.

The two, who love to golf, moved to Washington state in 2003. Jim McCullar previously worked for Boeing for 20 years as a maintenance instructor.

Washington Lottery communications director Scott Kinney said that the McCullars hand-picked the magic numbers at 3:30 p.m. Sunday.

The Safeway store that sold the winning ticket will receive $50,000.

Washington state will use the money it makes from the lottery towards higher education, Kinney said.

Idaho Winner Still a Mystery

In neighboring Idaho, state lottery officials said the winning ticket was sold in Post Falls, Idaho.

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