New Jersey Man Who Won $273M Mega Millions Jackpot Claims Prize
TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – The lucky winner of last week's $273 million Mega Millions jackpot came forward to claim his winnings on Thursday.
He says he first first misplace the ticket because he was distracted by his phone.
Now he has a good Samaritan to thank for being a multimillionaire.
Michael Weirsky bought the winning ticket at a QuickChek on New Brunswick Ave. in Phillipsburg. He says he plays $20 a week, mostly quick picks.
WATCH: Weirsky Claims Mega Millions Jackpot
The winning numbers were 29, 33, 39, 60, 66, and the Mega Ball was 21.
Since he scanned the winning ticket, Weirsky says his life has been hectic - to say the least.
He says he went from nothing to something overnight.
"I was down, now I'm way up! I don't know how much higher I can get," Weirsky said.
Weirsky, of Alpha, N.J., won the the $273 million in the Mega Millions jackpot last week. The dream was almost lost because the the day he lost the ticket, he was fuddling with his phone.
"Typical cell phone: Pay more attention to the cell phone. Put the tickets down, put my money away, did something the phone and just walked away," Weirsky said.
Weirsky says he searched his house overnight, then realized he left the ticket where he bought it. A good Samaritan saw it on the counter and gave it to the cashier for safekeeping.
"I'm looking for the guy who handed them in," Weirsky said.
Without that honest person, Weirsky would not be a millionaire.
"When Mike came in yesterday, brought like 10 family members with him: Ssisters, mother, friends, nephews. Great thing. Great family," said Executive Director of the New Jersey Lottery James Carey.
His mom Shirley and sister Lois were by his side today.
"I said to my mother: Jackpot winner. She said 'What's that mean.' $273 million. And she was like 'Get the hell out of here!" Weirsky said.
The Yankee fan chose to take the cash lump sum of $163 million. When he gets that money in two weeks, he says the first thing he is buying is a new pickup truck and a car for his mom.
"I always wanted to know what it would be like to wake up and do something, but something just to do it," Weirsky said.
He says he never really held a job and was divorced in October.
"She just called me today and said she's taking me back to court," he said.
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