California couple claims 3.1 Million Lotto Jackpot

Dena and Derek VanLoo, California, became the 390th Missouri Lottery - made millionaires.

Dena and Derek VanLoo, California, became the 390th Missouri Lottery - made millionaires. Photo by Paula Earls.

Derek VanLoo, 38, a purchasing engineer for MoDot, was playing a streak of Missouri Lottery Scratcher tickets he received from his mother Karen VanLoo for Christmas when he decided to end the run Saturday.

Derek took his $4 scratcher winners to Break Time in California and asked clerk, Tiffany Serpas what was drawing that night. Serpas responded "Missouri Lotto and Power Ball." Derek split the difference and got auto numbers for each game. Derek checked his tickets on Sunday morning and could not believe that he had won. He put the ticket in his pocket and went about his day attending a family Christmas gathering and not saying a word about the ticket.

Sunday night Derek broke down and told his wife Dena that he had life changing news. Dena of course was scared and taken back about what could be so changing. Derek proceeded to get the laptop and have Dena check the numbers with him. According to Dena that is when the screaming and crying began. Dena shared this is going to help make things like retirement possible.

The couple plans to continue working and living life as normal in California. They have three daughters they plan to put through college and provide weddings. On the immediate front, the family plans a vacation, maybe out west if Derek gets to choose.

The VanLoos took their time, going to a financial advisor and accountant, before claiming the ticket on Jan. 2. They plan to take the annuity, which pay out about $124,000 a year before taxes over the next 25 years.

The VanLoos winning numbers were 6,14, 15, 19, 23 and 40.

The California Break Time received a check for $5,000 for selling the winning ticket.

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