Jim & Carolyn From Ephrata Claim Their HUGE Jackpot! - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Jim & Carolyn From Ephrata Claim Their HUGE Jackpot!

(Photo courtesy MSNBC News) (Photo courtesy MSNBC News)

KHQ.COM - Retired Boeing employee and Vietnam War veteran, Jim McCullar, couldn't be more excited about his Mega Millions $190,000,000 jackpot win. Surrounded by his wife, Carolyn, and his children, Heather, Les, Jason and Cheryl, he accepted his ceremonial "huge" check Thursday.

"My wife and I play the same numbers all the time, but we 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 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 joked with Gov. Gregoire saying, "I've never stood so close to someone I didn't vote for!"

The father of six and grandfather of 23 said, "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.

"I woke up in the middle of the night and started watching Stephanie Vigil on KHQ channel 6. She said the numbers, and it felt like she was talking to me directly," Jim recounted. "I took my heart medication so I wouldn't have a heart attack. Then I woke up my wife and had her come check the numbers with me to make sure. We called all of our kids and none of them believed us. I had to take a picture of the ticket next to the computer screen to prove it."

"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 McCullar children say their parents won because they always pay it forward even when they couldn't afford it.

"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."

Even though Jim joked with her, Gov. Gregoire left the press event at Washington's Lottery saying, "It happened to the right family."

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