A 24-year-old farmer's insurance agent who recently relocated from New Jersey to San Diego has hit the jackpot every lottery player dreams about - the $47 million Mega Millions. Todd Moitz was introduced to the press this week by California Lottery officials after he claimed the big prize, opting for a cash payment of $32 million rather than the full but deferred by instalments payout.
"Cash is king," Moitz said, explaining his choice for the payment option.
Lottery News reports that Moitz bought the ticket at a 7-Eleven in Pacific Beach, where he lives. The winning numbers: 2, 11, 19, 21, 34 and the Mega number 38, were announced last Friday night. He said he typically buys $2 for two tickets, and he chooses the lottery numbers to play. He typically plays the day of the drawing and didn't expect to win.
However, when he checked the results online the morning after the draw, he was stunned to realise that he had beaten all the odds and scored bigtime. Describing the experience as "surreal", Moitz said he asked his roomate to double check his numbers against the published results....then started texting relatives and friends with the good news.
Moitz is well qualified to handle the massive windfall successfully, having graduated from finance and marketing courses at the University of Delaware. Charles Rich, a lottery sales manager, said he was confident that Moitz would do well with his win. "I don't think he'll have any problems," he said.
Moitz has not yet finalised his plans for the money, and was unable to comment on this at the press conference. He said his mind was still running at "a mile a minute" on his good fortune.
"I have to wait for it to slow down to a normal speed before I can make a rational decision," the big winner said, intimating that whatever he does with the money, his family would be taken care of.
In a sidebar story, it transpires that the seller of Moitz's ticket is also in line for a significant reward. The 7-Eleven store owner, Palvinder Hundal is entitled to receive $230 000, a 0.05 percent share of the jackpot, from the Lottery.
Hundal, who has owned the store for three years, said it's the first time a winning number was purchased there, and that he would share some of the money with his employees and some would help pay school costs for his children.