Convenience store owned by Indian American sold winning lottery ticket

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C.J. Patel’s Simpsonville, North Carolina convenience store has become famous overnight after it sold the $1.537 billion worth Mega Millions lottery ticket.

The winner, who has 180 days to step forward, was announced on Wednesday morning at 11 a.m.

According to a Greenville News report, the state lottery’s chief operating officer Tony Cooper said during an afternoon news conference held at the lucky store, “if the winner is out there today listening to us, we would like to say to you, take a deep breath, put that ticket in a secure location, consult with a trusted adviser, a legal adviser, a trusted financial adviser, sign the back of that ticket. Take a few days, take that deep breath again, and call the lottery. We will tell you who to go to.”

Cooper added that lottery tickets are “bearer instruments,” meaning that whoever signs it and presents it to lottery officials with an ID gets the money, and the store that sells the ticket receives only 1 percent of the proceeds.

Therefore, Patel will receive about $30,000 after taxes, which he will share with his four employees.

Patel was born in the Gujarat, India and came to the U.S. in 1996.

He has owned convenience stores around Simpsonville for the last 20 years now and still remembers sleeping in the back of his first store, before he married his pharmacist wife Jayshree Patel.

Many well-wishers were gathered at KC Mart #7 on Lee Vaughn Road in Simpsonville to congratulate Patel, according to a Greenville News report.

The winner’s name has not been revealed yet and they may choose to remain anonymous afterwards, as well.

The winner can receive their $1.537 billion prize in an annual amount over the next 29 years, but most people take the cash option, which was an estimated $878 million this time around for the winning numbers of 5, 28, 62, 65, 70 and Mega Ball 5.

Mega Millions is played in 44 states as well as Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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