Luck Strikes Santee Couple In The Form Of 8.75 Million

July 13, 2007
Rebecca Huberman

Jon and Jodi Smythe of Santee won an $8.75 million prize in the California State Lottery on Thursday.

Mr. Smythe, 37, walked to the 7-Eleven off Highway 52 on Wednesday after being fired from Qualcomm, where he had worked as a maintenance engineer. While at 7-Eleven he bought a cherry pie and a $1 Super Lotto ticket. The next evening he and Mrs. Smythe, 28, found out they were America’s newest millionaires when the lottery numbers were announced after an episode of “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?”

After paying $3.75 million in taxes, the Smythe’s will be left with $5 million. They have already thought of many ideas of how to spend their millions, some of which include buying a coin-operated laundromat, some diamonds, a subscription to TV Guide and a pet condo for Mrs. Smythe’s cats. They also plan to buy many TV’s.

“When I sit on the toilet, I wanna watch TV,” says Mrs. Smythe. They both agree that they would like to buy a TV for each room in their new double-wide trailer.

Some of the Smythe’s other plans include investing in Mangosteen juice by buying cases of it and selling them. They want to donate money to the Red Cross, which they say helped them greatly when Mr. Smythe’s mother’s truck caught on fire after a cigarette was left burning inside.

The Smythe’s are hopeful that this recent surplus of money will affect their marriage in a positive way.

“With all this money he can get more hobbies and get out of the house,” says Mrs. Smythe. She says that Mr. Smythe spends a lot of time at home when he is between jobs.
The winning numbers were 3-4-33-43-44-45. Mr. Smythe believes he was lucky to have picked the numbers he did. He used a “scientific, paranormal, and psychological” approach to picking. Each number had a significant meaning to him.

Mr. Smythe chose three because that was his age when his mother moved to Boise, Idaho. Four was his age when his father was sent to prison. Thirty-three was the number of beers Jon drank in the past week and 43 was the number he planned to drink if he won the lottery. Forty-four was the number of jobs he had in his life. Forty-five was a number chosen at random.

“The Lord done bless us,” says Mr. Smythe, who is a devout member of the Holy Rollers. He believes that winning the lottery was God’s repayment from being bitten by a snake during a church gathering.

The couple still plans to play the lottery by investing $10 a week. They are not worried about being treated differently by their friends now that they are millionaires.

“If they treat us differently we just won’t talk to them,” says Mrs. Smythe. “We can buy our own friends now.”

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