Washington state retiree wins $190 million in lottery

Thu Jan 6, 2011 6:18pm EST
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By Laura L. Myers

SEATTLE (Reuters) - A Washington state retiree who said he had been pronounced dead three times from heart attacks was identified on Thursday as one of two people who bought winning tickets in the $380 million Mega Millions lottery.

Jim McCullar, a retired aerospace worker who now dabbles in real estate, was presented with a ceremonial check for $190 million, his share of the winnings.

"I've been lucky three times in my life," McCullar told reporters at a press conference in Olympia, Washington. He said the other two times were marrying his wife and winning $18,650 at keno.

McCullar said that he suffered from heart issues, including three heart attacks and receiving 12 medical stents, and had been pronounced dead three times at a hospital in Wenatchee, Washington.

The Mississippi native said that when he saw on television that he had won the lottery, he turned pale and began shaking, causing his wife of 41 years, Carolyn, to worry that he'd suffered another heart attack.

"At that time I thought I had won $355 million and I said, 'Oh well, $190 million is pretty good for a little old Mississippi boy.' "

The McCullars, who have six children, can accept their winnings in 26 installments or a lump sum of $90 million.

"What this means to me is, the legacy is going to go generation to generation, they'll never have to worry, we'll never blow this," he said.   Continued...