Married Couple Wins Mega Millions by Eating Hawaiian BBQ | The Oprah Winfrey Show | OWN

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WINFREY: So two weeks ago, life had a ginormous twist in store for Jacki and Gilbert. This is a dream that everybody has for themselves. It all started when Jacki called up her husband Gilbert to ask what millions of us struggle with each and every day. "Honey, what's for dinner?" Now, this is one of those stories that makes you say, "I wish that was me." Look. GILBERT: We're out here in front of the Superior Courthouse in Los Angeles, where I was serving on jury duty, and I called Jacki. I was walking back to my truck. She's like, "Well, what do you want to do for dinner? I kind of got a craving for KFC." Like, I don't want that, so. I'm thinking, I kind of want, like, Mexican food. This is what I saw. "Cash only. After 4 p.m., $8.00." I'm not going to pay $8.00 for parking. Now I thought, "You know what? I'm going to go to that Hawaiian barbeque place." I ordered my food, and I was like, "Oh, you sell lottery tickets? You know what? Let me get 10 Quick Picks." And that was it. WINFREY: Later that night, Gilbert went to bed, and Jacki went to work. She works the overnight shift as an Assignment Editor for a Los Angeles TV station. JACKI: There was a wire that had come out saying, you know, that someone in California had won the lottery, that it was in my hometown. JEFF EVANS, CO-WORKER: And we had joked with her, "Hey, did you hear you won the lottery? Ha ha ha." JACKI: So I run over. "Get out of my way." I run over. I run over. "Where? Where?" That's when I learned that it was a Hawaiian Barbeque, and, like I said, in my head, it just clicked. I knew that my husband had eaten at Hawaiian Barbeque. GILBERT: And then the phone rang. JACKI: And I said, you know, "Get the ticket. Get the ticket." GILBERT: I was like, "Why are you calling me? What happened?" JACKI: "Jump up and get the ticket." GILBERT: "This can't wait till the morning when I'm awake?" JACKI: So he ran into the other room. GILBERT: Think I stubbed my toe somewhere along the way in the dark. "Okay. I got it." She's like, "Okay. Read me the number." JACKI: So I'm kind of, like, starting to freak out a little bit, and I can hear on the other phone, he's getting like, "Yes? Get that. Yes? Yes?" JEFF: And just all of a sudden, you know, tears and emotion, and we were in shock. I think we were just as stunned as she was to have the big story of the morning be actually here happening in the newsroom. BEVERLY WHITE: Behold the NBC 4 assignment desk where Jacki has toiled for years. Well, tonight she is the news after beating the odds and winning the mega millions jackpot. DAVID REESE: I'm her boss, and it's never good when you get a call at that time of day from the station, so I'm like, "Oh, god, what's on fire?" "Gilbert and I just won the lottery." And then she said, "Is it okay if I leave early? [LAUGHTER] [APPLAUSE] WINFREY: That is amazing. Now, that word "amazing" is appropriate there. Jacki and Gilbert, come on up here. Come on up here. Let's hear the whole story. Fantastic. Yow, yow, yow, yow, yow. Welcome, welcome, welcome. Come on up. Welcome, welcome, welcome. JACKI: Nice to meet you. WINFREY: A vision board moment I hear. Great. GILBERT: Nice to meet you. WINFREY: Nice to meet you. So listen to this, guys. The odds of hitting the Mega Millions jackpot that day were one in 175 million, one in 175 million. So pop up that picture of Jacki and Gilbert's winning lottery ticket, Joe. Will you do that? There it is right there. Ah, yep. [APPLAUSE] WINFREY: Okay. Don't you want to know how much they won? Tell everybody how much you won. JACKI: $266 million. WINFREY: Wowser kazowser. Wowie kazowie. That is amazing. JACKI: I know. It's crazy. It's just hard to conceptualize. WINFREY: Can't wrap your brain around it. JACKI: Yeah. WINFREY: I hear that you make now, what? How much money do you make in your job? JACKI: Well, I work freelance, so I'm a daily hire, so I get $300 a day. So if I work five days, I get pretty good pay, but that's not very often. Sometimes I work, you know, three days or one day. WINFREY: So you've been averaging, what, like, $40,000 a year or something? JACKI: About, yeah. WINFREY: You went from $40,000 a year to $266 million. JACKI: I know. I know. It's crazy to think about. WINFREY: You can't wrap your brain around it. JACKI: Exactly. WINFREY: So have relatives started coming out of the closet and old cousins you never heard of yet? JACKI: You know, a lot have come out of the closet to say congratulations, but we're lucky. No one has asked for--well, family--has asked for any money.. WINFREY: Yet. JACKI: Yet. Well, but they have Gilbert to contend with first. GILBERT: Yeah. I already told my family, "Don't bother asking because the answer is no." [LAUGHTER] WINFREY: Really, really. So people talk about what they would do with the money, you know. Had you ever had that discussion, if you won the lottery? And then I think a couple of weeks before this when the guy in Missouri won and he won a similar amount, you guys saw that and thought what? JACKI: He really needed it, and you can see he was so happy to win it. And we were driving, actually, to dinner, and we passed by the lottery office, and I said, "Oh, I dream of going in there one day with my ticket and just winning, like, $50,000." And we sparked a conversation, "What would you do if we won the lottery?" And, of course, you know, we have big, elaborate, you know, dreams. WINFREY: What was on those dreams? JACKI: Well, first was to buy a house, a really nice house like the kind that you look at the magazines, like an Oprah house. [LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE] WINFREY: I want that for you. I want that for you. JACKI: I've been trying to get him to go look in Santa Barbara area. WINFREY: Oh, come on up. Yes. JACKI: He says it's too far from his parents. So anyway, but, you know, we like to travel, so, you know, like safari stuff. WINFREY: This is the thing now. You can do it all. JACKI: I know. I know. WINFREY: You can do everything you ever dreamed. So now you're going to have to dream bigger dreams. JACKI: I don't know if that's possible, but I guess you always have to dream. Otherwise, you don't keep moving. You don't keep going forward, so. WINFREY: You know, and my advice to you would be, you know, because when you first get a lot of money and you've not made a lot of money, it is difficult to wrap your brain around what that is. I mean, I remember standing in Wal Mart one day. You know, "Should I get the $5.99 mat, or should I get the--oh, I could get them all." You know, "Oh, my god, I don't have to decide between them." But one of the things that I did that was really helpful I think would be helpful to you guys is, everybody is going to come at you saying, "Can you help me? Can you help me? Can you help me?" You have to make the decision for yourself. You get to decide. Other people don't get to tell you how much money they should have, and so you should decide who you want to help, who you don't want to help, and how you want to best help them, and then you do that. You make the plan, and you tell them what your plan is going to be. That would be my advice to you because otherwise, you just get overwhelmed by it all because you can no longer say, "I don't have it." Yes. When I was working in the newsroom and people would want money, I'd say, "Well, I really don't have it." And people were like, "Well, really, could you just loan me 500, then?" But you can't say that anymore because everybody knows you got $266 million. JACKI: Right. WINFREY: Are you going to keep working? JACKI: I want to. WINFREY: Yeah, for now. JACKI: For now, for now. [LAUGHTER] JACKI: Well, you know, a lot of that is, I mean, we don't have the money now, and we still have, you know, our bills to pay, so I need to. Eventually, I think, though, it'll probably, you know, my focus will change. I mean, I can't imagine not getting up and getting dressed and having a place to go to do something. I've been working since I was 14. WINFREY: But now you do get to think about, "What would I do if I didn't have to work?" GILBERT: Yeah, and that's kind of what I told her. You know, I think our focus has got to change. I know it's going to be--we got all this money. Now we got to do some good with it and decide how are we going to do that, and that's pretty much gonna be a full-time job right there. WINFREY: Yeah. You get to decide, though. So I hear getting tickets, actually coming to the show, also had been on your to-do list, like a lot of people here. How many had this on your to-do list here today? [APPLAUSE] WINFREY: Yeah. That's good. The bucket list for a lot of people. JACKI: I have to say--this is going to sound crazy. He'll totally disagree with me, but this is more my dream than winning the lottery. Like, this is my lottery. [APPLAUSE] GILBERT: Oh, no. JACKI: He'll say no to that. WINFREY: Even I will say no to that. GILBERT: You know what? I don't disagree with her on that because this has been a big dream of hers. WINFREY: No, but I'm so flattered, honored that you would think so, but I'm really happy, and I can see that you're really stable-minded people, and I hope you hold the center for yourself, really. JACKI: Thank you. We're trying. WINFREY: And manage it and manage it in a way that really brings you joy, that you can use it to bring joy to other people. Isn't that the goal? JACKI: That's exactly what we want to do. That was a good way to describe it. WINFREY: Yeah. Great to meet you. JACKI: Thank you. Great to meet you. WINFREY: Under these circumstances!

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