Welcome Guest
Log In | Register )
You last visited February 24, 2018, 10:27 am
All times shown are
Eastern Time (GMT-5:00)

$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


We'd love to see your comments here!  Register for a FREE membership — it takes just a few moments — and you'll be able to post comments here and on any of our forums. If you're already a member, you can Log In to post a comment.

35 comments. Last comment 10 years ago by reddhott425.
Page 1 of 3
JackpotWanna's avatar - squiz

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

WTG!  I wish he was my friend too!  LOL


    LottoVantage's avatar - BRITIS 3.GIF
    Southeastern Ohio
    United States
    Member #13850
    April 16, 2005
    783 Posts
    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 - DSCN5541
      North Carolina
      United States
      Member #59855
      March 29, 2008
      35439 Posts
      Posted: April 4, 2008, 11:28 am - IP Logged
        Vergie6's avatar - DSCN5541
        North Carolina
        United States
        Member #59855
        March 29, 2008
        35439 Posts
        Posted: April 4, 2008, 11:30 am - IP Logged

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


          United States
          Member #54390
          August 17, 2007
          313 Posts
          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
            4461 Posts
            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
              Member #40531
              June 3, 2006
              115 Posts
              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.


                ThatScaryChick's avatar - test

                United States
                Member #56506
                November 21, 2007
                6537 Posts
                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 - nw sorc2.jpg
                  United States
                  Member #1954
                  July 31, 2003
                  2152 Posts
                  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
                    United States
                    Member #9378
                    December 6, 2004
                    219 Posts
                    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.

                      Dolce, Illinois
                      United States
                      Member #26462
                      November 18, 2005
                      50 Posts
                      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 - 0118

                        United States
                        Member #52345
                        May 21, 2007
                        2843 Posts
                        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

                          Pittsburgh, PA
                          United States
                          Member #58600
                          February 21, 2008
                          43 Posts
                          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
                            28 Posts
                            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!