Richard Wahl had $22 in his pocket to buy gas, a Diet Coke and a few Mega Millions lottery tickets. Days later, he won one of the largest lottery jackpots in history.
Wahl, of Vernon, New Jersey, won the $533 million Mega Millions jackpot on March 30 after playing the lottery two times. He has decided to take the cash option of $324.6 million over the annuity.“I drive past that (Mega Millions) sign every day and don’t buy,” he told reporters Friday at a press conference at the New Jersey Lottery headquarters in Trenton where he was announced as the winner.
Wahl, 47, purchased his first ticket last month just after chatting with a co-worker about retirement. He didn’t win.
A week later, he stopped at a Lukoil gas station in Riverdale, New Jersey, went inside the store and bought more tickets.
When the winning numbers were announced on Good Friday, he initially thought he had won $1 million.