Lucas was born and raised in Modesto, California, the son of Dorothy Ellinore Lucas (née Bomberger) and George Walton Lucas Sr. , and is of German, Swiss-German, English, Scottish, and distant Dutch and French descent. He was interested in science fiction, including TV shows such as Flash Gordon. Long before Lucas began making films, he yearned to be a racecar driver, and he spent most of his high school years racing on the underground circuit at fairgrounds and hanging out at garages. On June 12, 1962, at age eighteen, while driving his souped-up Autobianchi Bianchina, another driver broadsided him, flipping over his car, nearly killing him, causing him to lose interest in racing as a career. Lucas's father owned a stationery store, and wanted George to work for him when he turned 18. Lucas had been planning to go to art school, and declared upon leaving home that he would be a millionaire by the age of 30. He attended Modesto Junior College, where he studied anthropology, sociology, and literature, amongst other subjects. He also began shooting with an 8 mm camera, including filming car races.