Washington Couple Claims $55 Million Mega Millions Jackpot! Couple "had a feeling" they held the winning ticket
OLYMPIA- Sommay Rattanakone (pronounced So-My Rah-tan-ah-cone) and his wife Xia (See-ah) Rattanakone both had a feeling they may be holding the winning ticket for the $55 million dollar Mega Millions drawing from Tuesday, October 17, 2006. The couple from North Bend purchased their Mega Millions ticket at the North Bend Safeway store and picked up a winning numbers report to confirm what their gut told them, that they were the winners of the second largest jackpot ever won in Washington State.
52-year-old Sommay returned home from work with the winning numbers report the day after the drawing, but wanted to take a nap before checking the numbers. Xia had another idea, she couldn't wait. "I heard her scream, 'We won!'" said Sommay; naptime was over. The couple spent the next few hours in disbelief talking about their big win. "I couldn't sleep," said Xia Rattanakone. "I woke up at 4am the next morning. We couldn't believe it. I prayed for this. It is a dream come true," she said. The couple turned in their winning ticket at the Lottery's Seattle office on Monday, October 23, 2006.
The windfall means the couple can retire early. Sommay works for Seattle Public Schools as a bi-lingual instructional assistant and Xia is temporarily employed by Nintendo. In addition, the couple plans to donate to an orphanage that has special meaning for them. "We plan on helping the Catholic orphanage in Laos. It was where Xia was raised before she was adopted and brought to the United States," said Sommay. The couple also plans to travel to Laos where Xia will search for her family history. "I don't know my parents. That is my wish to find them," she said tearfully.
In addition, the couple plans on investing in a new home, a new car and putting aside money for their two children's college education.
Washington's Lottery was established in 1982 and has generated over $2 billion to the Student Achievement Fund, Education Construction Account, State General Fund, and stadium debt reduction commitments. In FY '06, Washington's Lottery contributed over $102 million to education in Washington State. Washington's Lottery offers consumers six types of games: Mega Millions, Lotto, Quinto, The Daily Game, Daily Keno, and Scratch.
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