Lotto winner almost gives up his millions


SEATTLE -- Wallace Quammen is a brand-new -- and reluctant -- millionaire.

For six months, Mr. Quammen patiently held onto the winning lottery ticket from the Nov. 1 drawing, a slip of paper worth a whopping $6 million.

He and his wife even seriously considered not claiming the prize. After all, the retired Boeing Co. engineer says they don't need the money; they have invested well, live comfortably and travel regularly.

But Monday afternoon, Mr. Quammen decided he would claim his winnings -- so he could give most of it away, to his church, charities and the needy.

And not a moment too soon.

Just 90 minutes before the 5 p.m. deadline to claim the prize, Mr. Quammen, 71, walked into the Washington State Lottery offices and picked up the first of 20 annual checks. After taxes, he will receive $216,000 a year.

At a news conference, Mr. Quammen explained that he and his wife, Mona, had debated about letting Monday's deadline pass without turning in the ticket.

Mr. Quammen said he plays the lottery strictly for fun.

Pub Date: 5/01/96

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