An impulsive lottery ticket purchase became a life-changing decision for Long Island hospital orderly Cameron Finney, 48, when his last-minute lotto selection turned out to be a winning decision.
Finney purchased his US Mega Millions lottery ticket from a Gascon gas station on Tuesday, March 25, 2014. He'd only stopped to top off his tank, but decided to take a chance on the lottery when he found a little extra change in his pocket. The Mega Millions numbers drawn that evening were 19, 26, 51, 57, 73 and the Mega Ball was 15. The numbers were a perfect match for those on Finney's ticket, and he discovered this the following morning, but waited nearly two months before coming forward and claiming his $20 million prize.
When he visited the New York Lottery headquarters on Thursday, May 15, 2014, Finney told lottery officials the win had made him so nervous he'd slept with the ticket under his pillow for a couple of nights. Since then he's had it safely tucked away in a bank safety deposit box.
Finney opted to take is winnings in a one-off, lump-sum payment and will receive $7.4 million, after state and federal taxes. He now plans to retire and buy a new home. He also intends to help out a few charities that are close to his heart, but has no intention of wasting his money.
."It's going to last until I'm gone," he said.
Mega Millions is the biggest jackpot game in America. Jackpots start at $15 million and other prizes ranging from $1 to $1 million. Drawings are held Tuesdays and Fridays at 23:00 (ET). The Estimated jackpot for the drawing on Tuesday, May 20, 2014, is $149 million.