Tuesday, October 28, 2003


Husband and and wife of 25 years, Narinder Badwal and Lilla Singh, were jubilant recently when their Santa Clara 7-11 store sold one of two winning California Lotto tickets last Wednesday, each worth $49 milion. After 16 years of owning their franchise store, they were thrilled that they had finally hit their big jackpot with the commission of $250,000. They celebrated by giving out free Slurpees to their customers.

To everyones' surprise, by Thursday, no one had stepped forward to claim their share of the sixth largest jackpot in Lotto history. As he always does later on Thursdays and Sundays, Mr. Badwal took out the 12 tickets he bought for themselves and checked them against the winning numbers. He was shocked to discover that he had sold the winning ticket to himself.

The couple had chosen to receive the proceeds in 26 annual payments of about $2 million. Some of the money will go toward their three childrens' college educations, and to the Sankara Eye Foundation, a charity that provides eye surgeries in India. Mrs. Singh has admitted to having always wanted a diamond ring from her husband.

They said, though, that being millionaires wouldn't change their lives....no early retirement, no elaborate homes, no fancy cars. They plan to keep running their 7-11 store in Santa Clara. "We will be doing our regular activities so we can stay healthy and live longer," said Singh. "We want to stay the way we were."

Send emails to DeborahWhite@UniqueRecipes.com.

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