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The Smiths of Westminster win the lottery

The Smiths of Westminster win the lottery

Oct. 31, 1988: Ron Smith, one-third winner of a $60-million Lotto jackpot, is all smiles as he leaves in a limo for a Los Angeles press conference. The limo was provided by the California Lottery and a public relations company.

This photo appeared in the Nov. 1, 1988, Los Angeles Times. Staff writer’s Lonn Johnston’s article began:

Ron and Linda Smith, Orange County’s newest Lotto 6/49 millionaires, dined Monday at their comfortable Westminster home on ham and bologna sandwiches. He had a pickle and milk on the side. She sipped a Sprite.

They may have won one-third of the world-record, $61.98-million Lotto jackpot, and were just hours away from facing dozens of reporters at a news conference in Los Angeles. But, no sir, they weren’t going to change their ways.

“I’m going to take it slow,” said 45-year-old Ron Smith, whose share of the winnings amounts to $20.66 million. “I’m not going to go out and spend all the money.”

But for millionaires, some change may be inevitable.

For the first time in recent family memory, Smith was without one of his T-shirts. Instead, he sported an open-collar, short-sleeve shirt with blue slacks and elephant-skin cowboy boots dyed turquoise, prompting some teasing from his wife and two children.

And for only the second time in 23 years, Smith stayed home from his job as an oil field supervisor. …

The full story of the Smiths of Westminster is online.

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