(Sept. 5) MENDOTA, Calif. — Mark George, salesman for melon grower-shipper Fordel Inc., was back at his desk selling melons Sept. 4, just four days after winning $10 million in the California lottery.

George, 38, who has worked for Fordel Inc. for four seasons, said he plans to stay on the job. The only difference is that life will be more stable now.

And stability can be difficult at times in the produce industry, George said. “For melons we have had periods of demand,” he said. “But it has been an up and down year.”

George said he works for a top-notch company, but at times markets are simply flooded with too much product.

That situation will not likely change soon, but for George life couldn’t be better.

“Things have become a lot more secure,” he said.


Still, George plans to maintain much of his present lifestyle. George lives in Escalon near Stockton, Calif., and commutes 100 miles to his job.

He likes where he lives and plans to stay in the same area. “House-wise this will probably afford me a few changes,” George said. “But this is too much at one time to think about.”

Also, George likes driving a pickup truck and plans to continue doing so. But George acknowledges he could pick up a few new toys with his sudden fortune.


George won the lottery with a very minimal investment. He purchased only $5 worth of numbers (five combinations) but amazingly beat the odds with six correct numbers: 5, 6, 8, 18, 24 and 7 (the mega number).

They were numbers that had personal meaning to him and he had used the same numbers in previous tries.

“I never imagined winning, but I play regularly,” George said.

George received the news of his lottery win while out dove hunting over the weekend. “I was stunned,” he said after receiving word from a friend.