10 Fun Facts: Florida’s 2 Biggest Mega Millions Wins
Florida lottery players have claimed two enormous jackpots since joining in the game back in 2013. Here are 10 tidbits about the big money winners.
Neither player picked the winning numbers.
Do you play your lucky numbers or do you let the machine pick? Both winners used the QuickPick option.
The $451 Million winner couldn't celebrate with champagne.
Shane Missler of Port Richey was only 20 years old when we became Florida’s biggest lottery winner ever. He said he wasn’t surprised with the win. He just had “a feeling.” He first told his brother and then delivered the news to his father over coffee the next morning.
Being a football fan seems to help.
Both big Florida Mega Millions winners were big football fans. Shane Missler used his winnings to see his favorite team the New England Patriots play in the Super Bowl. Raymond Moyer and Robyn Collier said they planned to spend their winnings to go to as many Notre Dame games as they could.
Neither winner bought the ticket at Publix.
Since the grocery chain sells so many lottery tickets, many conspiracy theorists think there’s a bias and a disproportionate number of winners that come from Publix. Neither of the 2 big winning tickets were purchased with a Pub Sub.
The first big winner had to share.
Raymond Moyer and Robyn Collier of Merritt Island had to share their winnings as a Maryland player also picked the winning numbers. Taking the lump sum payment and having to share the money meant the $414 million jackpot turned into a mere $115,448,968 win for them. We’re pretty sure they weren’t too disappointed. Florida Today reported Collier had less than $5 cash when she filed for bankruptcy two years before the win.
Only two Florida Mega Millions players have been mega winners but 64 million have won smaller prizes from $2 to $2,000,000, totaling just over $806 million.
Both winners chose the cash option.
You can take home more money by opting to receive annual payments of your winnings. But both big jackpot winners opted to just cash in and take a lump sum payment. The Port Richey winner took a $281,874,999 check.
Running low on gas?
Both big money winners bought their tickets at gas stations. One was a 7-Eleven in Port Richey. The other was at a Sunoco on Merritt Island near Melbourne.
One Florida winner of almost a billion.
Although no Florida lottery players have won a billion dollars, the state’s education system is getting close. Since Florida joined Mega Millions in 2013, the game has generated almost $818 million for education.
You have 90 days to vanish.
If you plan on becoming Florida’s next millionaire, know a few things. First, you only have 60 days to claim your prize if you want to cash out right away. You have 180 days if you’re going to take the annual payments. And after 90 days, your name becomes public.