One lucky man from New Jersey, Richard Wahl, had his life turned upside down when he recently became the New Jersey winner of the $533 million Mega Millions jackpot. Although he waited two weeks to reveal himself, with at least one failed attempt to claim the money involving reporters, it turns out that you are not allowed to stay anonymous in New Jersey.
After buying his ticket at a Lukoil mini-mart in Riverdale, Wahl was the New Jersey winner of the $533 million Mega Millions jackpot that was drawn on March 30, 2018. For undisclosed reasons, Wahl waited around two weeks to come forward as the winner of the jackpot, possibly to get his affairs in order.
He recently moved to the city for work and is not normally a Mega Millions player, as he claims his winning ticket only came from his second time playing! He also claimed to have only thought to have won $4 until he noticed quite a few numbers matched up! As he explained in the following press conference, as seen above, he explained the story more in-depth:
“On Thursday I had $20 left in my pocket and decided to buy some tickets and a Diet Coke.”
“I’m checking the numbers at 8:00. I didn’t know they draw at 11:00. … Around midnight I said, ‘If I win you’re going to hear a huge scream, we’re leaving on vacation and we’re going to retire.’”
Learning that he won on Good Friday, he confirmed that he actually went to the gas station before ultimately coming out, but noticed reporters were there and did not want to bring attention to himself. For the time being, the winning ticket was kept in a safe.
In the state of New Jersey, winners are not allowed to remain anonymous, with Wahl also being required to participate in a mandatory news conference.
Around half of the winnings will go to taxes, federal and state, which still gives him $175 million as long as Wahl takes the cash option, which he confirmed is the plan. Still a pretty penny!
Who is Richard Wahl?
Wahl, a 47-year-old from Vernon, although he recently moved to the area for work as a production manager for AAK Foodservice, a food services company.
He attributed his good fortune to divine providence since the numbers were already chosen by the Easy Pick, as he explained in the following statements:
“For us we believe God has a plan…it’s not only life-changing money for me, we want it to be life-changing money for others. Family, friends, people in need.”
While Wahl and his family are Catholic, they do not belong to a church due to having recently relocated; the family still has charities lined up that will receive a donation from Wahl’s winnings. Wahl also confirmed that he will use the money to help support his mother, who is said to be on “reduced income.”
That said, he still has some plans to use the money for fun:
“I wanted to rebuild a 1963 Corvette. Whether I get a chance to do it or not, I don’t know. But that’s been my dream.”