Winner cracks jokes; thanks all the losers
Holding a mock check for nearly $74 million, Ronald Crump kept cracking jokes. Winning the Mega Millions lottery jackpot had left him giddy.
First off, the retired postal employee from Amarillo had a special message for everyone who didn't have his winning numbers, "To all the millions who bought tickets and didn't win, I thank you very much."
He said he planned to upgrade his 12-year-old car with another one half its age.
And for all the traveling he plans to do - Las Vegas, the Caribbean and New York — well, "I thought I'd better make Vegas last."
Crump, 67, his brothers Kenneth and Donald, and his son Dean, turned in their winning ticket for the Jan. 9 Mega Millions jackpot at Texas Lottery Commission headquarters today. The jackpot was estimated at $122 million, but the family chose the immediate cash option payment of $73,572,690.
The Crumps are the fourth Texas winners of the multi-state Mega Millions lottery.
Ronald Crump gave few specifics of what the family planned to do with its new riches. Travel seemed to top the list, but other priorities included paying for college for children and grandchildren, contributions to their church, and maybe a new home.
"We're going to help a lot of people, I hope," he said.
Dean Crump said he's still on his job at a computer software company in Amarillo.
"I feel like I have a lot of people who still depend on me," he said. "Until we get that situated, I'll stay there."
His father knew what he'd do if he was still working.
"If I had a job I'd have quit it," Ronald Crump said.
Together, nine family members are sharing the prize, although only the four men attended the news conference to announce the winners.
Ronald Crump purchased the winning ticket and his numbers - 54-11-7-38-26 and Mega Ball 13 -were randomly selected by the computer.
"I thought it would never happen, and it did. It's very nice," he said. "I'd recommend it."
He bought two tickets that day "because I was afraid the other one wouldn't win."
Ronald Crump joked that he considered leaving the country when he realized he had won.
"I thought Mexico was sounding pretty good," he said.
Kenneth Crump said his brother was wise not to run.
"He valued his life more than that," he said.