CBSN

From Georgia GIs To Millionaires

Army Staff Sgt. Tirrell Moore, who won this week's $150 million jackpot in the Mega Millions multistate game, talks to the media with his wife Staff Sgt. Danielle Moore, Thursday, Oct. 2, 2003, at Shoney's Restaurant in Fitzgerald, Ga. The couple was on leave from Camp Humphries in Korea when Moore purchased the winning ticket.
AP
Danielle and Tirrell Moore have 150 million reasons to quit the Army and return to civilian life.

The couple bought the winning ticket for the Mega Millions multi-state lottery and won a $150 million jackpot while on leave from South Korea. They chose to receive a lump sum payment of $88.9 million, and, although they had planned to make the army their careers, they now want early releases.

"It makes no sense to stay in the Army," Tirrell Moore said Thursday. "I have loved it. I'm just going to relax and get my head together."

Danielle Moore added: "I love the military. I'm not so sure if it's as easy for me to give it up as it is for him, but I have to go with my heart and my husband."

Tirrell Moore is a chemical decontamination specialist with the 520th Maintenance Company. His wife has served as a helicopter electronic technician with C Company, 52nd Aviation Regiment. They are both staff sergeants.

The couple was married in a civil ceremony eight years ago while stationed at Fort Drum, N.Y. With the new infusion of cash, the 27-year-old from Tampa said she wants to renew their vows in a church.

"It will be a party," Tirrell Moore said.

Her husband has long claimed that someday he was going to win the lottery, Danielle Moore said. But when he returned from buying tickets this week, she didn't like the numbers and sent him back to the fast-food store to try again.

The Moores are due to return to the South Korea on Oct. 16. They say they may ask for an extension considering their change of fortunes, but, at a small press conference at the Shoney's restaurant in Fitzgerald, Ga., the small south Georgia town where he grew up, he promised the money won't change who he is.

"It's no different. I will always be the same person," he said.

Moore said he plans to refurbish the modest family home where his mother still lives, and buy her a Mercedes for her short commute to her job as a shipping clerk.

He also wants to return to South Korea to say good-bye to his army buddies.

In the meantime, Tirrell Moore plans to do plenty of fishing while home in the south Georgia town where he grew up.

"We have some time for the dream wedding. But fishing, that's what's coming up soon," he said. "It's relaxing, nobody bothering you and you can listen to the water."