Wed04162014

News

Couple $17 million richer

Los Altos residents are big SuperLotto winners

Los Altos resident Lynn Bell was home alone Saturday when she checked her SuperLotto numbers against the winning numbers in the newspaper.

She couldn't believe it when she discovered she and her husband Rick held the winning combination worth $17 million.

Lynn screamed so loudly that the family dog became frightened and hid.

She waited for her husband to come home.

When she heard the garage door open, Lynn ran outside and waved the winning ticket.

Rick couldn't believe it.

"Read it and weep," Lynn told him. And he did.

This makes the Bells California's newest SuperLotto millionaires and the first Los Altos residents ever to claim a SuperLotto jackpot prize, said Gina Stassi, a spokeswoman from California Lottery headquarters in Sacramento.

Each year, for the next 20 years, the Bells will receive $850,000 per year, which is a net payment of $612,000 per year.

Just a few days earlier the Bells had been discussing business. Lynn said to Rick, "The dream can be ours. We just have to have faith."

She had no idea their Lottery win was imminent, but she did believe that good fortune was in their future.

The Bells said they have no immediate plans for the winnings and would like to take the time needed to make decisions.

"We'll just enjoy the summer and go from there," Rick said.

The Bells bought their winning ticket in Los Altos at Jerry's Liquor and Deli at 398 S. San Antonio Road.

Joe and Shahr Mardini have owned the business for almost 10 years and say this is the first time they have ever sold a winning ticket.

"I'm the one," said Joe Mardindi who owns Jerry's with his wife, Shahr. "I sold the ticket.

"A lot of people come and say - 'hey - this is a lucky place.' And they buy a (SuperLotto) ticket. Even the TV people (from Channel 11) bought tickets."

The Mardinis, who live in Mountain View, have been married for 17 years and have three children, 15, 11 and 7.

For selling the winning ticket, they receive one half of one percent which is $85,000, Stassi said.

"It'll go for my kids' education," Mardini said. He expects the check to come in four to six weeks, in one payment.

The Mardinis were unable to go to San Jose for the 1 p.m. press conference on Monday when the winners were announced. They couldn't leave their deli. But their phone is ringing and the store is filling with people who want to feel lucky, too.

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