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New York man wins $149M Mega Millions jackpot

Mega MillionsMega Millions: New York man wins $149M Mega Millions jackpot

Like most parking lot attendants, Juan Rodriguez knows how tantalizing and frustrating it can be to drive a luxury car, only to have to surrender it all too quickly for a pair of crumpled dollars.

But now, after 20 years of anonymous toil for a legion of well-heeled motorists near the United Nations, the Colombian-born Ozone Park resident can sit in his own heated leather seat.

Sunday, New York Lottery authorities declared him the winner of the largest jackpot ever won in the state, $149 million. The chances of winning the Mega Millions jackpot were 135 million to one.

"I want to say thank God! I love him," Rodriguez, 49, said, shy and visibly nervous behind a pair of blue-framed sunglasses before a bank of a dozen television cameras outside the Turtle Bay convenience store where he bought the ticket Friday.

Rodriguez said he was eying a Volvo.

The money couldn't have come at a better time. Two days before he bought the ticket, a mound of credit card debt prompted him to declare bankruptcy. Also, his first grandchild is due in February.

"His money was not enough," said his brother-in-law, Dennis Herrera. "He said, 'Brother, I don't have money to pay the rent.'"

Friday, Rodriguez bought a Quick Pick ticket at S& N News on Second Avenue between 48th and 49th streets, two doors down from the parking lot.

The next morning, he learned the store had sold the lucky ticket. He showed his stub to the clerk, who told Rodriguez that he was rich, rich enough to own a few of those BMWs he's parked.

"He said 'Don't play with me,'" the clerk, Nayeem Khaja, recalled Sunday. "I said, 'No, I'm not playing you. You're the sole winner.'"

After finding out that he had won the lottery, Rodriguez called his wife, Iris, a former home health care aide, and daughter, Katty, 17, a psychology student at Touro College who is the couple's only child.

Rodriguez, who hasn't yet quit his job, opted to take a lump payment of $88.5 million before taxes. Aside from the Volvo, and maybe a Jaguar for Iris, the family said they're keen for their own house and a vacation in Orlando, where they have relatives.

Katty's unborn child, a girl, also is expected to benefit from the windfall.

"I can take her to a good high school," Katty Rodriguez said. "She could go to a good college. I could give her the things that I never had."

Newsday

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23 comments. Last comment 12 years ago by CASH Only.
Page 1 of 2
Bradly_60's avatar - disney37
Atlantic Mine, Michigan
United States
Member #416
June 23, 2002
1614 Posts
Offline
Posted: November 23, 2004, 3:36 pm - IP Logged

Wow that was quick.  Didn't even wait until Monday.  haha

Brad

    mrmst's avatar - disney14
    Glen Burnie, MD
    United States
    Member #427
    June 27, 2002
    208 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: November 23, 2004, 4:35 pm - IP Logged

    Yeah, I didn't know any lottery headquarters were open on Sunday.

    MrMST

    Good luck and have a Disney Day ºoºHiding Behind Computer

      plnwebguy's avatar - binary

      United States
      Member #3680
      February 11, 2004
      187 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: November 23, 2004, 6:54 pm - IP Logged

      Saw this on Yahoo news -

      http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20041123/ap_on_re_us/bankrupt_lottery_winner

      "With just 78 cents in his savings account and $44,000 owed to creditors, parking attendant Juan Rodriguez plunked down $1 on a lottery ticket. Good thing he wasn't pinching pennies: He won a $149 million lottery jackpot."

       

        Avatar
        Portland
        United States
        Member #7262
        September 27, 2004
        111 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: November 23, 2004, 10:37 pm - IP Logged

        Congratulationsssss!

          I am not winner for that but I happy for any one who get the big happiness like that!!!

          Maverick's avatar - yinyang
          USA
          United States
          Member #8242
          October 29, 2004
          1133 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: November 23, 2004, 11:27 pm - IP Logged

          wow !!! ONE dollar in exchange for $88.5 million

            MADDOG10's avatar - smoke
            Beautiful Florida
            United States
            Member #5709
            July 18, 2004
            20115 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: November 24, 2004, 7:05 pm - IP Logged

            plotting and predicting are half the fun when you pick the winner, i mean after all anybody can plunk a dollar down and become rich. just think if he got the notion right here on lp, we would all be able to share in the celebration.  ha  ha.    congats to you!!!!

                                                         

                                                           "  When Injustice Becomes Law, Resistance Becomes Duty "

              urbossmanpimpin's avatar - batman49
              Dallas, Texas
              United States
              Member #7272
              September 28, 2004
              179 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: November 25, 2004, 12:10 am - IP Logged

              well, he seems like he actually needed it soooooo I'm not as upset about not winning.

                LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
                Tennessee
                United States
                Member #7853
                October 15, 2004
                11338 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: November 25, 2004, 11:47 pm - IP Logged

                we need more winners like this guy.......

                  Avatar

                  United States
                  Member #6676
                  September 3, 2004
                  95 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: November 26, 2004, 1:58 am - IP Logged

                  wishing him the best!!

                  --winner2b

                    Avatar
                    New Member
                    columbus,ohio
                    United States
                    Member #4120
                    March 23, 2004
                    11 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: November 26, 2004, 12:51 pm - IP Logged

                    congratulations to the mega milliion winner, Rodriguez

                      lottoretirement's avatar - praying hands.jpg
                      New Member
                      Tomball, Texas
                      United States
                      Member #8802
                      November 17, 2004
                      6 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: November 26, 2004, 1:48 pm - IP Logged

                      Now their is truely a Happy Thanksgiving!   It's why everbody plays, we have debt, dreams and what the best for our children. The lotto jackpots give us working people the ability to reach some of those dreams.

                      lotto retirement dude


                        United States
                        Member #379
                        June 5, 2002
                        11296 Posts
                        Offline
                        Posted: November 27, 2004, 11:56 am - IP Logged

                        Give thanks that he chose CASH...

                          Avatar

                          United States
                          Member #972
                          December 30, 2002
                          465 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: November 29, 2004, 11:31 am - IP Logged

                          The broken record continues. Very tiresome.

                           

                          Quote: Originally posted by CASH Only on November 27, 2004







                          Give thanks that he chose CASH...






                            mrmst's avatar - disney14
                            Glen Burnie, MD
                            United States
                            Member #427
                            June 27, 2002
                            208 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: November 29, 2004, 1:36 pm - IP Logged

                            I agree - I don't care one way or the other if he selected cash or annuity.  The games will never stop advertising the annuity amounts as it allows them to make the prize seem like more than it is.  It's a marketing tactic.

                            MrMST

                            Good luck and have a Disney Day ºoºHiding Behind Computer