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N.J. couple claims $82M lottery prize

Mega MillionsMega Millions: N.J. couple claims $82M lottery prize
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Villas, New Jersey, residents Sandra and John Belawsky today claimed their portion of the near-record $330 million jackpot from the Mega Millions drawing held on Aug, 31. They chose the cash option, to receive $48,615,187 before the 25 percent federal withholding tax.

The Belawskys went to Lottery Headquarters to stake their claim to one of the largest lottery jackpots in North American history.

"Congratulations to the Belawskys, the winners of this incredible jackpot," said William T. Jourdain, acting executive director of the New Jersey Lottery. "While the Belawskys will undoubtedly receive the most publicity, it is important to note that they are not the only winners today. From this Mega Millions jackpot roll alone, which began on July 10, New Jersey generated an estimated $3.4 million in commissions for our lottery retailers and just under $29 million in support of state programs. Mega Millions is truly a winning experience for all citizens of the Garden State."

The Belawskys purchased their winning ticket on Aug. 30 at Blitz ' s "Hole in the Wall" Villas Market, 902 Bayshore Avenue, Villas.

The tickets were a natural selection. The winning numbers were: 08, 18, 22, 40 and 44, and the Gold Mega Ball number was 11.

The. Belawskys are lifelong residents of New Jersey, and relocated to Cape May County in 1999.

"We feel very, very lucky," said John, in a release. He bought the winning ticket.

"It's amazing what can happen when you stop to pick up a newspaper and a few tickets."

John is a disabled veteran with over 20 years experience in auto finance and banking; Sandra's prior career was also in banking. Both have been retired for several years, and have enjoyed the quiet life in Cape May County.

When he found out that he possessed one of the winning tickets in this massive jackpot, Mr. Belawsky's surprise was overwhelming: "I checked the last number twice, and thought about waking Sandy up to tell her we won. I decided to let her sleep, and that was probably a good idea-neither one of has really had a good night' s sleep since. It' s been exciting and memorable-and it's still hard to believe we won."

Mr. Belawsky explained his delay in stepping forward, " I think it took us both a while just to let the fact that we won sink in. After that, we signed the ticket and put it into a safe place and started thinking about the future. We talked with some financial professionals — with our backgrounds in banking, we're pretty good with money, but when you' re talking $48 million ... well it doesn't hurt to have an expert opinion or two."

Acting Executive Director Jourdain stated, "John and Sandra did everything right that you could ask of a winner in a big jackpot — they signed their ticket, put it in a safe place, and then sought professional financial help. Those are the steps we love to see our winners take before they come forward."

"In a lot of ways, we're still in disbelief," said John Belawsky, "I know this means that our golden years can officially be golden, but past that, Sandy and I are still sorting all of this out-we have some ideas about what we want to do with this big win, but haven't made any big decisions yet."

This prize amount is one-fourth of the second-largest jackpot in the history of Mega Millions, a remarkable $330,000,000.

The largest, single-ticket win in the New Jersey Lottery's 36-year history, however, was Harold and Helen Lerner, who were sole winners of a Mega Millions jackpot of $258 million on Sept. 16, 2005.

Mega Millions member states include: New Jersey, California, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Texas, Virginia and Washington.

Cape May County Herald

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16 comments. Last comment 9 years ago by DoubleDown.
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Raven62's avatar - binary
New Jersey
United States
Member #17843
June 28, 2005
49674 Posts
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Posted: September 7, 2007, 8:22 pm - IP Logged

Congratulations to the Lucky Couple!

A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

    gocart1's avatar - lighthouse
    ONEONTA,NEW YORK
    United States
    Member #30516
    January 17, 2006
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    Posted: September 7, 2007, 9:12 pm - IP Logged

    did john say '' holy crap''.

      Guru101's avatar - rw6jhh
      Indiana
      United States
      Member #48725
      January 7, 2007
      1953 Posts
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      Posted: September 7, 2007, 9:12 pm - IP Logged

      Congratulations to the winners!

      Gonna win.Big Smile

        gocart1's avatar - lighthouse
        ONEONTA,NEW YORK
        United States
        Member #30516
        January 17, 2006
        419 Posts
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        Posted: September 7, 2007, 9:13 pm - IP Logged

        did john say '' holy crap''.

        best of luck to the winners

          tnlotto1's avatar - logo
          nashville
          United States
          Member #49896
          February 18, 2007
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          Posted: September 7, 2007, 10:00 pm - IP Logged

          congratulations to this couple on winning and they look really happy on the links i have seen

            Avatar
            Coastal Georgia
            United States
            Member #2653
            October 30, 2003
            1866 Posts
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            Posted: September 8, 2007, 2:17 pm - IP Logged

            Acting Executive Director Jourdain stated, "John and Sandra did everything right that you could ask of a winner in a big jackpot — they signed their ticket, put it in a safe place, and then sought professional financial help. Those are the steps we love to see our winners take before they come forward."

             

            Very prudent on their part. Will we read horror stories about this couple down the road ?

            Most likely not.

             

                                           

                          

             

             

              hearsetrax's avatar - 0118

              United States
              Member #52345
              May 21, 2007
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              Posted: September 8, 2007, 3:21 pm - IP Logged

              I Agree!  CheersI

                LuckyLilly's avatar - savy chick.png

                United States
                Member #50124
                February 26, 2007
                601 Posts
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                Posted: September 8, 2007, 3:48 pm - IP Logged

                Acting Executive Director Jourdain stated, "John and Sandra did everything right that you could ask of a winner in a big jackpot — they signed their ticket, put it in a safe place, and then sought professional financial help. Those are the steps we love to see our winners take before they come forward."

                 

                Very prudent on their part. Will we read horror stories about this couple down the road ?

                Most likely not.

                They're both former bankers, so you know they know how to handle money.  And they STILL decided that they need advice. 

                That said, a banker here (branch manager) was just arrested for embezzlement, so I guess not all bankers are good at handling money. 

                  JackpotWanna's avatar - squiz

                  United States
                  Member #4121
                  March 23, 2004
                  817 Posts
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                  Posted: September 8, 2007, 9:27 pm - IP Logged

                  Party time!! WTG!!!

                   

                  Party

                    wizeguy's avatar - animaniacs04

                    United States
                    Member #15143
                    May 10, 2005
                    414 Posts
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                    Posted: September 11, 2007, 12:41 pm - IP Logged

                    Congrats to the Belawsky family!


                      United States
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                      June 2, 2005
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                      Posted: September 12, 2007, 4:02 pm - IP Logged

                      I hope the Belawskys step forward and take cash option. To add insult to injury, it was a CA SLP pick.MadBashSmashChairI Agree!Party

                        Avatar
                        Kentucky
                        United States
                        Member #32652
                        February 14, 2006
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                        Posted: September 12, 2007, 9:20 pm - IP Logged

                        I hope the Belawskys step forward and take cash option. To add insult to injury, it was a CA SLP pick.MadBashSmashChairI Agree!Party

                        "I hope the Belawskys step forward and take cash option.

                        Do you ever actually read these news items before making those nonsensical responses?

                        "Villas, New Jersey, residents Sandra and John Belawsky today claimed their portion of the near-record $330 million jackpot from the Mega Millions drawing held on Aug, 31. They chose the cash option, to receive $48,615,187 before the 25 percent federal withholding tax."

                        "To add insult to injury, it was a CA SLP"

                        And had you actually read the story.......

                        "The Belawskys purchased their winning ticket on Aug. 30 at Blitz ' s "Hole in the Wall" Villas Market, 902 Bayshore Avenue, Villas."

                        I think a Top 50 Poster should know difference between a Mega Millions ticket bought in Villas, New Jersey and a CA SLP (California Super Lotto Plus), don't you?

                          seraphim712's avatar - ayumi13
                          New Member
                          Atlanta
                          United States
                          Member #54757
                          August 29, 2007
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                          Posted: September 13, 2007, 2:05 am - IP Logged

                          It's interesting that both the winners, the man from Maryland and the couple from New Jersey are experienced with handling money. I wonder if the final two winners will have the same job occupation. That would be really cool and very interesting indeed.

                            AuntiePat's avatar - animaniacs10
                            Just outside of Cleveland, OH
                            United States
                            Member #54079
                            August 3, 2007
                            106 Posts
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                            Posted: September 13, 2007, 10:49 am - IP Logged

                            I think that this is the second couple from Cape May County NJ this year who were large MM JP winners--must be the idyllic life style that clears the machines to distibute winners--Hmmmm--maybe it's time for a move.