$190 million Mega Millions win for Boeing retiree & Vietnam War veteran
Jim McCullar had just finished watching Stephanie Vigil announce the Mega Millions numbers on the late night KHQ news, when he walked into the bedroom to see his wife.
"I was pale, shaking," he recalled at a press conference this week . "She said, 'Are you OK?' I said, 'Yeah, I'm perfect, but you need to get out of bed.' "
Jim and his wife Carolyn, of Ephrata, Washington, had matched all 6 numbers in the 4 January, 2011 Mega Millions draw, winning a prize of $190 million. They shared the total jackpot prize of $380 million with one other player who had also matched all six numbers.
“Carolyn and I used to play our birthdays, 08-15-42 and 04-25-47,” Jim explained to Washington State’s Governor, Christine Gregoire, who came to meet the winner. “We first used the numbers playing the Oregon Lottery years ago and won $18,000. This time Carolyn said we should go back to using our lucky numbers. So we did and here we are!”
Jim is a retired Boeing employee and Vietnam War veteran, a father of 6 and grandfather of 23.
“We’re not the only two winners. Our whole family is winning.” His daughter responded saying they were the lucky ones to have Jim and Carolyn as parents.
Jim and Carolyn don't plan to go on a lavish spending spree.
"What this means to me is the legacy is going to go generation after generation after generation. We're not going to blow this."
What is on the cards is a new house.
“We used to look at houses all the time online and dream of what we could buy if we won the lottery. Now we look at those and think they don’t look like they’re that much,” Carolyn said.
The couple also have a strong sense of community, and people outside the family will benefit from their good fortune.
“We always give people Christmas presents anonymously and turkeys to the food bank whenever possible. We’re just excited to pay it forward even more,” Jim explained. “We’re rich people who happen to be wealthy now.”