Brian McMahon gives a kiss to his wife Jonelle outside the store where he bought a $5 quick pick that netted him $10 Million dollars in the California Lottery. He is a frequent lottery player, who always gets his tickets from La Paz Liquor in Burbank, Calif. (John McCoy/L.A. Daily News)
Brian McMahon had never won anything larger than a big snake way back when he was 7 years old.
Then Sunday morning, the 52-year-old Hollywood setmaker from Burbank padded out to his computer – to discover he'd won a $10 million California Lotto jackpot. | See photo gallery.
"Son of a ...!" he had cried, without waking up his wife, Jonelle.

"My hand started shaking," the goateed winner recalled Wednesday. "My coffee cup was full, and I set it down and spilled it. I looked at the computer for 15 minutes.

"Then I thanked my mother (Doris), who passed away in July. She did the rosary every day and prayed I'd win the Lotto."

California Lotto officials celebrated the SuperLotto Plus jackpot win during an announcement in back of La Paz Liquor in Burbank, where the winning ticket was purchased.

The jackpot from Saturday's drawing was the second in Los Angeles County this month after a $12 million win in Whittier split 11 different ways.

"We're here today to celebrate California's newest millionaire," said Jeff Bermont, sales manager for the lottery office in Van Nuys.

Around the small corner liquor store on Magnolia Boulevard and Pass Avenue were signs saying "Millionaire Made Here: Are You Next?"

It was here, among the Absolut, Marlboros and girlie magazines, that McMahon stopped twice a week to drop a total of $60 on lottery picks. He usually played the Fantasy 5, because of better odds, he said. But on Saturday, he'd bought a $5 Quick Pick for the SuperLotto Plus.

On Sunday, when Jonelle awoke 1½ hours after his discovery, she found him pacing the living room.
Then on Presidents Day, he went to his job at a major film studio outside Burbank. After punching out at 3 p.m. Tuesday, he drove four blocks to claim his prize.

Benny Valle, who owns an independent Mercedes-Benz garage up the street, was checking his numbers and joked when he saw McMahon.

"I want to shake the hand of the new millionaire," he had said, not actually knowing of his winning ticket.
Rubin Sandoval, another Lotto regular, saw McMahon walk in and saw money written all over his face.
"I told my friend, 'Maybe he's a winner,' because he was so excited," said Sandoval, 76, of Toluca Lake. "I see something in his face."

After the jackpot, La Paz Liquor owners Daniel Roh and Jin Bok Kin found a $50,000 Lotto bonus headed toward their till, with retailers of jackpot winners getting .5 percent of the proceeds.

"You bet I'm happy," Roh said, beaming behind the counter. "The money will go to make up business, because of the recession. Very slow."

For their part, the McMahons ignored the $5.8 million cash option in favor of 26 years of graduated payments, beginning at $250,000.

Brian McMahon, who rents a two-bedroom home, will not likely buy a new house, he said Wednesday, after punching out from work at 3 p.m. And he'll continue to drive his mint-colored Chrysler 300.

He'll continue to work like he's always done, he said, though he'll buy a '29 Model A roadster for his dad.
He'll add a fridge next to a new replacement for the broken washing machine, he said. And the father of four adult stepsons will invest the millions to care for his family and future generations.

"Believe it or not, we want to live our lives the same way we did before," McMahon said, in a faded black sweatshirt and Levis. "I'm going back to work ... I love my job. I love what I do. I'm going to work until I get tired."

"I thank God for his parents," added his wife, Jonelle. "Giving birth to him. And for our incredible fortune here today."

The setmaker who had never before won big then strolled into La Paz Liquor, stepped up to the counter and pulled out his wallet.

And plunked down $15 for more Lotto tickets.

"We'll see," he said grinning, "if lightning strikes twice."