SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — A lottery mystery has surfaced in the South Bay after someone purchased a ticket at a San Jose café over the weekend with a value of nearly $20 million.
Bay Area residents seem to be rushing to buy lottery tickets lately, with the coronavirus pandemic apparently fueling a spike in sales.
In South San Jose last Saturday, Café Paradise sold a lottery ticket that turned out to be worth $18 million.
The café owners enjoy their privacy and didn’t want cameras inside. They also wouldn’t comment on selling the lucky ticket. Their cut in the winning prize is $90,000.
California Lottery spokeswoman Carolyn Becker confirmed that the winner had yet to claim their price.
“The time line for someone to come forward is always varying. You know, sometimes people don’t realize they win. Sometimes they realize right away but they want to think about their next step very carefully. I encourage that,” said Becker.
Just down the street at the AM/PM store and Chevron gas station, locals like Freddie Sidbury were just hearing the news.
“I’ve been in this neighborhood over 30 years. It’s not mine!” said Sidbury with a laugh. “Boy! That’s amazing.”
Despite the fact that the winning ticket wasn’t even sold there, people were buying Lotto tickets left and right. They are also buying lots of scratchers.
“Just last week, we actually hit an all-time high for scratcher sales in one week,” said Becker.
Normally, they sell 90 million scratcher tickets per week, but these are not normal times. Last week, sales topped 129 million scratchers sold. They are also paying out big.
“We have recently, here in the Sacramento area, one person who won $10 million playing a scratcher,” said Becker.
The available prize in all lottery games combined this week means there is three quarters of a billion dollars in play this week.
Sidbury wasn’t surprised the $18 million winner had yet to come forward.
“I don’t blame ’em. I’d wait until I could find a way to do it secretly. You know how things are today,” said Sidbury. “You’re going to create a lot of relatives that you didn’t have before!”