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California man collects $120M Mega Millions lottery jackpot

Mega MillionsMega Millions: California man collects $120M Mega Millions lottery jackpot
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There's no telling what Ronald Willis had in the back of his mind to buy.

He wouldn't say. But whatever it is, he can probably afford it.

The 55-year-old Rialto man became the state's newest millionaire, parlaying a Mega Millions ticket purchased at a Riverside convenience store into a $120 million lottery win on a draw Tuesday, Sept. 11. He came forward to claim the prize at the California Lottery headquarters in San Bernardino on Friday, Sept. 14, where he faced a line of television cameras.

"I don't know any of that," Willis said, asked about his plans. "All I know is we're enjoying the moment."

For those keeping score with a spreadsheet, Willis gets $92.1 million if he takes the money in a lump sum. That translates into an after-tax take home of just under $70 million, according to lottery officials. If he takes payments, it will be $4.6 million a year for 26 years. Willis said he's still deciding what option to take.

A Louisiana native who grew up in LA, Willis told reporters that he regularly plays the lottery, routinely buying tickets from a store in Rialto using two lines of pre-determined numbers and a quick pick. He had never won more than a few bucks. It was the first time he bought a ticket from the 7-Eleven at 3740 Iowa Avenue in Riverside, purchasing it on a whim.

When lottery officials announced that the winning ticket had been sold in Riverside, he initially thought nothing of it because he forgot that he had purchased the ticket there. Once his fiancée, Yolanda Mangum, reminded him that he bought the ticket in Riverside he got it and checked it.

"I was kind of calm and collected about it," Willis said, flanked by Mangum, his brother, Bruce Willis, and six other family members. "I just sat down on the couch and I started thinking about it. I said, 'This is it.' "

Willis said he remained calm. His family, including four children, did enough jumping-for-joy for him.

The store that sold the ticket may do some jumping as well. It will get $600,000 from the state lottery.

The winning numbers were: 5, 11, 20, 33, 36 and Mega number 11.

It was the highest jackpot awarded in Inland Southern California in recent years.

In 2011, an 84-year-old Hemet man won a $7 million jackpot from a ticket purchased at a liquor store off Sanderson Avenue.

Several Inland residents had won a small share, resulting in several hundred thousand dollars, during the record $540 million nationwide jackpot in March.

The largest winning jackpot in California was $315 million in 2005.

Asked if he'd keep playing the lottery, Willis laughed.

"Yes," he said. "To win more."

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41 comments. Last comment 2 years ago by Piaceri.
Page 1 of 3

United States
Member #111446
May 25, 2011
6323 Posts
Offline
Posted: September 17, 2012, 10:40 am - IP Logged

Hurray for this young man!

    Avatar
    Texas
    United States
    Member #132460
    September 4, 2012
    483 Posts
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    Posted: September 17, 2012, 10:41 am - IP Logged

    Your patience, determination and faith put you to where you are right now, Mr. Willis.  Congratulations! You are the next millionaire.  When you said that you were so calm, I just couldn't imagine, that a lotto millionaire was so calm knowing that he won big bucks of millions.  May you always, enjoy your moment...my congratulations.


      United States
      Member #116272
      September 7, 2011
      20244 Posts
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      Posted: September 17, 2012, 10:42 am - IP Logged

      Hurray for this young man!

      Yes, and nice to have "Bruce Willis" along anytime. 

      Also nice that he "checked his ticket" lol. lol.

        kyokushin187's avatar - evildead2
        cornwall,ct
        United States
        Member #102639
        December 23, 2010
        242 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: September 17, 2012, 11:33 am - IP Logged

        Hopefully. I'm next.i'll take either multi or state lottery.this shows that you should keep playing ur picks.

        Kyokushin karate a.k.a.

        " The strongest Karate"

          RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
          mid-Ohio
          United States
          Member #9
          March 24, 2001
          17937 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: September 17, 2012, 11:47 am - IP Logged

          Maybe there's some hope for me yet.  I matched 5of6 in Ohio Super Lotto ten years ago but that was so long ago it doesn't count any more.

          I was checking the MegaMillions sales figures for each state and Californians spend more money on MM tickets than any other state, no wonder there are so many stories about them winning the MM jackpots.  Just proves if you keep buying tickets, one of them could be a winner some day.

          I wonder if the winner was one of his personal picks or a quick pick.

          * you don't need more tickets, just the right ticket * 
          * your best chance at winning a lottery jackpot is to buy a ticket * 
               Wink 


            United States
            Member #116272
            September 7, 2011
            20244 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: September 17, 2012, 11:54 am - IP Logged

            Hopefully. I'm next.i'll take either multi or state lottery.this shows that you should keep playing ur picks.

            Except it sounds like he bought a random ticket at a random store.........

            and only checked it because of an announcement.


              United States
              Member #116272
              September 7, 2011
              20244 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: September 17, 2012, 11:56 am - IP Logged

              Maybe there's some hope for me yet.  I matched 5of6 in Ohio Super Lotto ten years ago but that was so long ago it doesn't count any more.

              I was checking the MegaMillions sales figures for each state and Californians spend more money on MM tickets than any other state, no wonder there are so many stories about them winning the MM jackpots.  Just proves if you keep buying tickets, one of them could be a winner some day.

              I wonder if the winner was one of his personal picks or a quick pick.

              Interesting that it doesnt say how he pick the numbers at the random store he was in.

                RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                mid-Ohio
                United States
                Member #9
                March 24, 2001
                17937 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: September 17, 2012, 12:18 pm - IP Logged

                Except it sounds like he bought a random ticket at a random store.........

                and only checked it because of an announcement.

                Sounds like he only checked his tickets because he was reminded that he bought tickets at that location but I'm betting he always checked his tickets regardless of where he bought them. 

                If I ever won big I would be tempted to come up with an equally casual story instead of revealing the amount of time I spent picking my numbers, checking them after the drawings and revising the strategy I'll used to pick my next ones.

                * you don't need more tickets, just the right ticket * 
                * your best chance at winning a lottery jackpot is to buy a ticket * 
                     Wink 

                  LottoGuyBC's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
                  British Columbia
                  Canada
                  Member #116105
                  September 4, 2011
                  3598 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: September 17, 2012, 12:54 pm - IP Logged

                              $120M...Very Nice

                  "You have to be in it to win it!"

                    Cletu$2's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
                    S.E.Iowa
                    United States
                    Member #120509
                    December 21, 2011
                    534 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: September 17, 2012, 1:43 pm - IP Logged

                    Congratulations,Mr.Willis.Take the cash option.

                    When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it. ~Clarence Darrow

                    There ought to be one day - just one - when there is open season on senators. ~Will Rogers

                      whiteballz's avatar - Lottery-015.jpg
                      Nutley, New Jersey
                      United States
                      Member #131063
                      August 1, 2012
                      789 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: September 17, 2012, 2:28 pm - IP Logged

                      he looks like a really young 55-year-old

                      .

                        dpoly1's avatar - driver
                        PA
                        United States
                        Member #66141
                        October 16, 2008
                        1450 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: September 17, 2012, 5:20 pm - IP Logged

                        Party CONGRATS SIR!

                        next party in Pennsylvania ...............

                        dpoly1 - Playing the lottery to save the jobs of those that build, transport, sell & maintain luxury items! -

                         

                        Eschew Poverty ........... Vote Conservative!


                          United States
                          Member #111446
                          May 25, 2011
                          6323 Posts
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                          Posted: September 17, 2012, 5:30 pm - IP Logged

                          he looks like a really young 55-year-old

                          If he were any younger, he'd be 54!

                            Avatar
                            Windermere, FL/Franklin, TN
                            United States
                            Member #50210
                            March 1, 2007
                            839 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: September 17, 2012, 5:36 pm - IP Logged

                            Congratulations,Mr.Willis.Take the cash option.

                            I Agree!  With the cash option being 76.75% of the annuity amount, this is a no brainer. With his net payout of roughly $60 million (if he doesn't mitigate the additional 10% Federal tax obligation) he shouldn't have an issue netting 2% annually (1.2 million) and being well ahead of the annuity prize.

                            There are many munibonds that offer 4-5% returns that woud increase his nest egg substantially without ever touching the principal.