A very lucky man from Cumberland is counting his Mega Millions lottery prize, $99 million. Lewis Howard accepted his check Thursday. His golden ticket, bought from a Food Lion in Farmville, hit all six numbers back in May.
However, Howard waited until Thursday, October 31, to unveil the big news. He had spent time teaming up with financial experts, making sure he knew exactly what to do with the tens of millions of dollars. Even still, Howard says his life-changing moment hasn't really changed him at all.
"I'm just a normal person, just a regular guy," said Howard at the podium.
Howard will walk away with $52 million in cash, after taxes. Lewis said he had a feeling he might get lucky in the drawing.
"The night before the numbers came out, I was in the bed watching the news, and (my) right hand started to itch," described Howard.
That itch led to a winning ticket, which Lewis kept under wraps for five-and-a-half months. "A couple days I hid it in the medicine cabinet."
The retired heating plant technician only told his wife. He waited so long to claim his winnings, that in just two weeks, the prize would have been worth nothing.
"I almost waited too late, until my wife reminded me," smiled Howard.
Howard hadn't even told his children and grandchildren, at the time of the check presentation. Howard's family obviously knows by now that their lives have been impacted too.
"I knew my life has changed, and I am truly blessed," continued Howard.
Howard is ready to start a new life, while still keeping much the same. He plans to stay in Cumberland, and take a cruise soon.
The Mega Millions pot was actually $198 million. Howard split the winnings with a ticket holder from New Jersey. He's the fifth biggest lotto winner from New Jersey, ever.
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