It was pumpkin seeds that made Massoud Ardalan a regular at Heather Farm Shell in Walnut Creek, and thus they are also indirectly responsible for making the Walnut Creek resident a millionaire. The gas station on Ygnacio Valley Boulevard is where Ardalan would stop to buy his preferred snack. But on Wednesday he skipped the seeds and bought $5 worth of lottery tickets.
The estimated cash option amount for this jackpot ticket is $22.9 million.
Here's the rest of the good luck story as told by the press office of the California Lottery:
Ardalan, a reprographics manager by trade, was having a regular day on Thursday, dropping Homeira off at work and then going to look for work himself. Ardalan was laid off in November after being with the same company for 16 years. Once he got home, he had a message from a friend telling him that someone in Walnut Creek had won the $33 million SuperLotto Plus jackpot and that he should check his tickets. He did. He couldn’t believe his eyes…all six numbers matched! He went back to see his wife at the salon where she works as a hairdresser and asked her to come outside, he had something to tell her: “We won the Lottery,” he said. Even as they recounted the story, Homeira’s eyes sparkled and she giggled, “I didn’t believe him.”
Ardalan plans to start his own business, possibly in reprographics, and put his friends and family who are out of work, back to work. He also may buy some rental properties and a salon for his wife to run. Ardalan explained through laughter, “That’s a lot of money, we can do a lot of things, buy a lot of pumpkin seeds! Maybe buy a pumpkin seed factory!”