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$135M lottery winner to boss: "I'm out of here"

Mega MillionsMega Millions: $135M lottery winner to boss: "I'm out of here"

David Sneath has worked at a Ford Motor Co. parts warehouse for 34 years, but it didn't take him any time at all to walk out once he discovered he had won a $136 million Mega Millions jackpot.

"I yelled to the boss, 'I'm out of here,'" Sneath said Thursday after going to state lottery headquarters in downtown Lansing to pick up his first $1 million check.

Sneath, of Livonia in suburban Detroit, said the reality of his win has yet to sink in.

"I still haven't touched base with Earth yet," he said. When he saw in a newspaper that he had a winning ticket, "my whole body went numb."

Sneath plans to buy a cottage on Mullett Lake in northern Michigan and maybe a new fishing boat or two to help him land the walleye he loves to catch. He's tired of misplacing his glasses and may get laser surgery to correct his vision. And he'll probably move out of his three-bedroom, two-bath ranch home, although he plans to stay in Michigan.

He's even considering a return to Eastern Michigan University to finish his bachelor's degree. He's eight credits shy of a major in warehousing and a minor in international marketing.

Sneath turned 60 on Tuesday, the day he won the jackpot. Friends and relatives at first thought it was an April Fool's joke.

"I called my sister; she didn't believe me. I called my daughter; she thought I was nuts," said Sneath, who said he made his first call to his ex-wife, Deborah.

Deborah, whom he called "my significant ex," attended the Thursday news conference where Sneath was presented with a large replica of a $136 million check. His daughter was there with her daughter, as was his son, who had bought the winning ticket on his father's behalf during trip to a gas station to get cigarettes.

Sneath plans to take a lump payment worth $84.3 million, or $59.6 million after taxes. On Thursday, he got the first $1 million; he'll get the remainder in a second payment. At the warehouse, he made $60,000 to $70,000 a year.

A self-described "character," Sneath generally kicked in $6 a week with four co-workers at his job in Brownstown to buy lottery tickets, spending half the money on tickets for Tuesday's draw and half for Friday's.

This time, his son bought him $15 worth of tickets, picking numbers Sneath suggested. The winning combination — 4, 17, 26, 46 and 56, plus 25 for the Mega Ball — were numbers Sneath once got as a random pick and continues to play.

But his four co-workers didn't entirely lose out. He plans to give them $1 million each out of his winnings.

Despite his longtime association with Ford, he said he won't be using any of the money to buy one of his former employer's vehicles.

"I worked for Ford Motor Co.," he said. "I won't be buying a Ford product."

Sneath's $136 million jackpot may seem like a lot, but it doesn't even come close to the record. The largest Mega Millions jackpot was $390 million in March last year, claimed by two winners in Georgia and New Jersey.

Mega Millions is a multistate lottery game offered in Michigan, California, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas, Virginia and Washington state. Jackpots start at a guaranteed $12 million and grow when no one wins the jackpot.

Thanks to BobP for the tip

AP

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35 comments. Last comment 6 years ago by reddhott425.
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JackpotWanna's avatar - squiz

United States
Member #4121
March 23, 2004
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Posted: April 4, 2008, 8:49 am - IP Logged

WTG!  I wish he was my friend too!  LOL

Party

    LottoVantage's avatar - BRITIS 3.GIF
    Southeastern Ohio
    United States
    Member #13850
    April 16, 2005
    767 Posts
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    Posted: April 4, 2008, 9:22 am - IP Logged

    That will definitely provide a job for someone who desperately needs one, won't it? Good luck to him with his new found fortune!

     

      Vergie6's avatar - Bz rtgNIAAEE7BP.jpg
      North Carolina
      United States
      Member #59855
      March 29, 2008
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      Posted: April 4, 2008, 11:28 am - IP Logged

      I wish I was "he" too! See Ya!

        Vergie6's avatar - Bz rtgNIAAEE7BP.jpg
        North Carolina
        United States
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        March 29, 2008
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        Posted: April 4, 2008, 11:30 am - IP Logged

        Actually he is going to have "friends" coming out of the woodwork!I Agree!

          Avatar

          United States
          Member #54390
          August 17, 2007
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          Posted: April 4, 2008, 12:01 pm - IP Logged

          hahah that's so awesome "I won't be buying a foreign car". Go Ford!

            justxploring's avatar - villiarna
            Wandering Aimlessly
            United States
            Member #25360
            November 5, 2005
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            Posted: April 4, 2008, 12:02 pm - IP Logged

            I'm always happy for the winner when I read these stories.  It sounds as if he has a close family and good friends, but he was in a pool at work, so this story might not be over. 

            Just my 2 cents here. Since this is MI, the state with the highest unemployment rate in the country, I'm happy he left right away. Maybe this opened up a job for someone else, maybe not.  However, I don't have much respect for someone who works 34 years for a company, makes an excellent salary & benefits, and then knocks the company to the press.  Sorry, that's just the way I am.

              player345's avatar - hani
              buffalo, new york
              United States
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              June 3, 2006
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              Posted: April 4, 2008, 12:46 pm - IP Logged

              How generous and honorable of him to give the other four players $1M each!!  Talk about giving.....!!!  God bless him.

              player345

                ThatScaryChick's avatar - AbnSTiA

                United States
                Member #56506
                November 21, 2007
                4657 Posts
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                Posted: April 4, 2008, 12:48 pm - IP Logged

                Congrats to him! I hope he doesn't have a bunch of people coming out of the woodwork claiming that he would give them money also. He seems like a very giving a generous man though.

                "No one remembers the person who almost climbed the mountain, only the person who eventually gets to the top."

                  benir4u's avatar - Lottery-043.jpg
                  Sacramento,Ca
                  United States
                  Member #1954
                  July 31, 2003
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                  Posted: April 4, 2008, 1:43 pm - IP Logged

                  That's very generous of him, but his friends will probably have to pay taxes on the 1 million.  I would have done the same thing had I won such a large amount and that is the sign of a true friend to help the people who plays with him regularly.

                    fwlawrence's avatar - Yavill
                    Austin
                    United States
                    Member #9378
                    December 6, 2004
                    195 Posts
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                    Posted: April 4, 2008, 1:54 pm - IP Logged

                    That's very generous of him, but his friends will probably have to pay taxes on the 1 million.  I would have done the same thing had I won such a large amount and that is the sign of a true friend to help the people who plays with him regularly.

                    He will have to pay the tax on any gift over $12,000.

                      Avatar
                      Dolce, Illinois
                      United States
                      Member #26462
                      November 18, 2005
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                      Posted: April 4, 2008, 3:20 pm - IP Logged

                      They can afford it....He stole my idea about getting a place up in the UP.  Saw a great one on the road between Marquette and Houghton, right on Lake Superior.  I don't hunt or fish, but like to massive snow and lifestyle up there.On the other side, I'd certainly not show up with my ex.  Unless she agreed to be shot out of a cannon or something at Lottery HQ.

                        hearsetrax's avatar - 78638c467ef281febf24383e126f74b6

                        United States
                        Member #52345
                        May 21, 2007
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                        Posted: April 4, 2008, 3:20 pm - IP Logged

                        am sure he'll find plenty of new friends comming out of yonder pile  Roll Eyes

                        $1 sez he'll become the other story of how not to claim a winning ticket

                          Avatar
                          Pittsburgh, PA
                          United States
                          Member #58600
                          February 21, 2008
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                          Posted: April 4, 2008, 4:16 pm - IP Logged

                          I can tell you right now, my "significant-ex" would not get a phone call if I won. 

                            CaliWinner's avatar - aeonflux
                            New Member
                            Orange County, CA
                            United States
                            Member #59371
                            March 14, 2008
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                            Posted: April 4, 2008, 5:01 pm - IP Logged

                            Well, congrats to him. Nice to see someone from the home state winning such a big payoff. Wish it was me though Smile

                            I have family members that work in the auto industry back home (and for Ford), and I'd never buy a Ford, either.

                            Not a winner yet. But I will be!