California couple claims $3.1 million jackpot

Dena and Derek VanLoo, California, won a $3.1 million lottery jackpot. The couple plan to take the annuity, receiving $124,000 each year before taxes for the next 25 years.

Dena and Derek VanLoo, California, won a $3.1 million lottery jackpot. The couple plan to take the annuity, receiving $124,000 each year before taxes for the next 25 years.

CALIFORNIA, Mo. — A purchasing engineer for MoDOT was playing a streak of Missouri Lottery Scratcher tickets he received from his mother for Christmas when he decided to end the run Saturday.

Derek VanLoo, 38, took his $4 Scratcher winners to Break Time in California and asked clerk Tiffany Serpas what was drawing that night. VanLoo divided his winnings between Lotto and Power Ball games that night. When he checked his tickets Sunday morning, he said, he couldn’t believe he had won on a Lotto ticket. But 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.

On Sunday night, he broke down and told his wife, Dena, that he had life-changing news. The couple got out their laptop and checked the numbers online together. And that’s when the screaming and crying began, Dena said.

The couple say they plan 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 is planning a vacation.

After consulting with a financial adviser and accountant, the VanLoos redeemed the ticket on Jan. 2. They plan to take the annuity, which pays 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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