25 February 2015
Illinois is making headlines in lottery land this week, as on Tuesday it paid out its biggest jackpot ever with a $265 million prize won in the US Mega Millions lottery! Even more unbelievably, the giant sum was won not by a group of lottery players, but by one single, monstrously lucky person.
That player is Jesus Davila Jr., 70, a retiree from Napierville whose golden years are now looking a lot more bright and shiny. According to Illinois Mega Millions laws, lottery winners have one year from the draw date to claim their prize, and 60 days to choose whether or not to take the cash, or the 30-year annuity option.
Although the 60-day decision period was extended to Jesus, he wasted no time in choosing the cash option, which, after state and federal tax deductions, will amount to nearly $127 million! Not bad for a few dollars and a few minutes' work!
While the odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot stand at an unbelievable 1 in 259,000,000, they were no match for Jesus and his particular brand of luck. One $5 Quick Pick ticket from Bucky's Express in Glendale Heights was all it took, and Jesus' lottery fate was sealed.
Just as any good lottery player should, Jesus watched the January draw, and wrote the lottery results down on a piece of paper to check against his ticket. At first he thought he'd matched the five main numbers for a $1 million win - a result worth celebrating in itself. But when he showed his son his lottery ticket, he was shocked to realise that he had in fact matched the Mega Ball as well, for the first tier grand prize win!
Originally from Puerto Rico, Jesus is a family man through and through, with three sons, one daughter and four grandchildren. And just as any self-respecting family man would, Jesus plans to use his prize to better the lives of his loved ones, and donate to a number of charities that have had an impact on him throughout his life.
As for Jesus himself, his plans involve "a big house with a really big lawn … and a riding lawn mower". Humble purchases from a self-proclaimed everyman, who described himself to the press as "a regular joe".
It seems that this regular joe will be leading a fairly irregular, and hugely extraordinary life going forward, all thanks to the purchase of one simple lottery ticket. And if that's a life you want to be living yourself, one lottery ticket could be just as lucky for you!
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