Richard Wahl, of Vernon, New Jersey, was named as the winner of a $533 million lottery prize.
Wahl, 47, who won the Mega Millions drawing in March, was introduced Friday at the lottery’s headquarters. He’s opting to take the $220.7 million cash payout after taxes.
He told The Associated Press: “It was truly amazing. Some of my family members were sleeping so I didn’t go and scream out. I walked upstairs. I saw my wife … and said, ‘Baby, we get to go on vacation.’ She said, ‘What are you talking about? Don’t be an idiot.’”
After realizing he'd won the $533 million Mega Millions jackpot, Richard Wahl said he and his family stayed in their house all weekend, nervously guarding their "lifechanging" ticket. https://t.co/D8i3fVGw4q
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He checked the numbers about 15 times to make sure it was legitimate before he informed other family members.
“Actually the weird thing is my mom actually called me before I wanted to tell her and told me ‘I heard somebody in New Jersey won the lottery, was it you?’ And I wasn’t ready to share with her yet, so I told her, ‘Absolutely not, mother,’” added Wahl, a food production manager.
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“For us, we believe God has a plan,” Wahl told CBS News. “For us, the plan is to do a lot of good things with it. We’ll be working with our financial team to make things happen. It’s not only life-changing money for me, but I want it to be life-changing money for others — family, friends, people in need. So we’re going to try to do some good things with that.”
He told NBC New York that the ticket was “lifechanging.”
“We cried a lot together as a family,” said Wahl. “We didn’t sleep that much. The nerves, the shock of everything. I don’t think it’s still settled in for us.”
He’s now planning to hire a financial advisor and will figure out what to do with the cash. He said he wants to help friends and family who need it.
“We’re just humbled by the fact that everything’s happened,” he said.
Wahl added that he moved to New Jersey from Michigan for work reasons, but he didn’t provide further details.
He said that he’s planning to retire and wants to rebuild a 1963 Corvette.
Mega Millions is played in 44 states along with Washington D.C. and the Virgin Islands.
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