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Mega Millions jackpot winner comes forward

January 7, 2011 12:46:30 AM PST
One of the two winners of the $380 million Mega Millions lottery jackpot came forward in the state of Washington on Thursday.Jim and Carolyn McCullar bought the winning ticket at a Safeway in their hometown of Ephrata. They claim half of the second largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history.

Jim McCullar - a Mississippi native and Vietnam-era Navy veteran - gave his wife a fright when he woke her Tuesday night with the life-changing news that they'd hit the jackpot.

The 68-year-old said he's survived "a few" heart attacks, bypass surgery and 12 stents. So the urgent cry for his wife's attention had her suspecting the worst.

"I hollered 'Carolyn!"' Jim McCullar recalled at Thursday's news conference. "Then I thought, 'Oh - don't holler like that in the middle of the night. She'll think you're having a heart attack."'

"I thought it was happening again," Carolyn McCullar said. "He said, 'I'm OK.' But he didn't look like it."

The couple took the ceremonial $190 million check during a news conference.

In Washington, where no state taxes would apply, the lump sum would be $90 million after the 25 percent federal tax. The McCullars said they hadn't decided how to take the payment.

"The legacy is going to go generation, after generation, after generation," Jim McCullar said. "We're not going to blow this."

The other winning ticket was sold in Post Falls, ID. So far, that person has not come forward.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.