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Teen wins $35 million Powerball lottery jackpot

PowerballPowerball: Teen wins $35 million Powerball lottery jackpot
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Jonathan Vargas turns 20 in July. But he relied on the ages of close relatives instead of his own when he picked the six winning numbers for Saturday's $35.3 million Powerball jackpot.

The Gaston construction worker said his two younger brothers turn 12 and 14 this year; his sister will be 15 and his older brother will be 21. Their mom turned 43 earlier this year. And the winning red ball number?

"As far as 30 — just a lucky guess," he said Monday at a news conference announcing him as the winner.

While other winning Powerball tickets have been sold in South Carolina, state lottery director Ernie Passailaigue said Vargas, who went to Airport High School in Lexington County, is the first winner who lives in the state.

Passailaigue said Vargas likely will take the lump sum payment, estimated at $17.3 million, instead of the annuity that pays out the larger jackpot amount over 29 years.

Vargas said he plans to buy his mother a house and quit work.

"Right now, there 's no really big plans in the works," he said. The first thing he plans to do is get a lawyer and a financial consultant. He said he already has an accountant — his aunt.

Vargas said the numbers came to him while he was at work. He was having a bottle of juice and saw that the expiration date on the bottle was his birthday. He said a voice in his head told him, "Your family is going to bring you success and fortune."

"I heard the numbers in my head," he said. "I called my mom and said write these numbers down."

He also wrote the numbers on a napkin and tucked it away in his pocket. He still has the napkin. He was holding it when he watched the drawing Saturday night.

"When it got to the third number, I knew I had it," he said. "I was grateful. I was crying. It was a very emotional moment for me."

Vargas, who admitted he's still a little scared by the prospect of being a millionaire at his young age, said the money is "a blessing from God."

"You never ask the Lord why you are blessed," he said. "I'm not going to ask the Lord why he put it in my hands."

He plans to give some money to his church and may look into going to college or getting into the real estate business. He also plans to set up a trust fund for his four siblings who inspired the winning numbers.

Although Vargas said Saturday was the first time he had played the lottery, it's not the first big win for his family. His parents, Patricia and Anthony Richardson, said they won $10,000 in a scratch-off game in the early days of the South Carolina lottery.

AP

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38 comments. Last comment 9 years ago by MeFirstYouLast.
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Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
Chief Bottle Washer
New Jersey
United States
Member #1
May 31, 2000
23277 Posts
Online
Posted: May 20, 2008, 9:41 pm - IP Logged

Congratulations, you're set for life!

 

Check the State Lottery Report Card
What grade did your lottery earn?

 

Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
Help eliminate computerized drawings!

    spy153's avatar - maren

    United States
    Member #28409
    December 15, 2005
    1198 Posts
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    Posted: May 20, 2008, 9:48 pm - IP Logged

    Vargas, who admitted he's still a little scared by the prospect of being a millionaire at his young age, said the money is "a blessing from God."

     

    and don't you forget it, baby!Thumbs UpGlad to hear someone give thanks where thanks is due! I hope he can hold onto-or increase-the money!

    voir-vous dans mes reves!Cool

      RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
      mid-Ohio
      United States
      Member #9
      March 24, 2001
      19831 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: May 20, 2008, 10:10 pm - IP Logged

      Congratulations to the winner, a young person who picked his own numbers and won.   Who said only old people who buy QP ever win? 

      He came forward quickly, Ohio is still waiting to hear from its last MegaMillions winner.

       * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
         
                   Evil Looking       

        Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
        Chief Bottle Washer
        New Jersey
        United States
        Member #1
        May 31, 2000
        23277 Posts
        Online
        Posted: May 20, 2008, 10:18 pm - IP Logged

        Congratulations to the winner, a young person who picked his own numbers and won.   Who said only old people who buy QP ever win? 

        He came forward quickly, Ohio is still waiting to hear from its last MegaMillions winner.

        Great point, especially about the OLD comment that was brought up a week or two ago.  The timing could not be more perfect.

         

        Check the State Lottery Report Card
        What grade did your lottery earn?

         

        Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
        Help eliminate computerized drawings!

          spy153's avatar - maren

          United States
          Member #28409
          December 15, 2005
          1198 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: May 20, 2008, 10:25 pm - IP Logged

          Congratulations to the winner, a young person who picked his own numbers and won.   Who said only old people who buy QP ever win? 

          He came forward quickly, Ohio is still waiting to hear from its last MegaMillions winner.

          come on, we know it was you!

          voir-vous dans mes reves!Cool

            ThatScaryChick's avatar - x1MqPuM
            Idaho
            United States
            Member #56506
            November 21, 2007
            6537 Posts
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            Posted: May 20, 2008, 10:30 pm - IP Logged

            Congrats to him! If he plays his cards right he will be set for life.

            "No one remembers the person who almost climbed the mountain, only the person who eventually gets to the top."


              United States
              Member #59167
              March 8, 2008
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              Posted: May 20, 2008, 10:44 pm - IP Logged

              Sounds like he some intelligence.  How did he win?  Personally, I am glad some one who won and didn't concentrate on buying a tractor with brakes, or a four-door pickup, or a new freezer.  Lets hope he remains to spend it smartly.

                Avatar
                Republic of Texas
                United States
                Member #57557
                January 9, 2008
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                Posted: May 20, 2008, 11:36 pm - IP Logged

                Congrats to the kid. Hear's hoping he gets sound advice. At least he is looking at going to college.

                face

                singlewinnersinglewinnersinglewinner   

                  NightTrain1234's avatar - 8ball
                  a Powerball AND MegaMillions state!
                  United States
                  Member #24190
                  October 20, 2005
                  78 Posts
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                  Posted: May 21, 2008, 12:41 am - IP Logged

                  Congratulations, you're set for life!

                  You mean he is set for the next 3 years.  ;-)

                  This is a situation just screaming out for someone to take the annuity instead of the lump sum payment.

                    DC81's avatar - batman39
                    MI
                    United States
                    Member #54830
                    August 31, 2007
                    985 Posts
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                    Posted: May 21, 2008, 2:43 am - IP Logged

                    Why? Aside from him claiming it so quickly and putting himself out there how he did. If he follows through with what he said maybe he won't be a failure, then again he said a lot of the same things many past winners have.  Maybe he'll take some business and management classes. I'm sure he'll get some gold diggers coming his way, he better hope he can say no, especially with his relationship status being advertised he might be an easy target.

                    You can't predict random.

                      Avatar

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                      Posted: May 21, 2008, 3:50 am - IP Logged

                      You mean he is set for the next 3 years.  ;-)

                      This is a situation just screaming out for someone to take the annuity instead of the lump sum payment.

                      Not neccessarily.  He sounds like he's got his stuff together...except for the aunt.  If I were to win, and I'm 23 years old, I wouldn't allow ANYBODY in my family to deal with my money.  I trust these people with my life but it seems like every person who has lost their millions did in part because of a relative.  I love them all and they would all be taken care of but my financials would be taken care of by a wealth management team who have good strategies for people with money.

                        DC81's avatar - batman39
                        MI
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                        Posted: May 21, 2008, 4:06 am - IP Logged

                        I agree with you there, I forgot to say that he shouldn't go with family to take care of this sort of thing.

                        You can't predict random.

                          Sandra Dee's avatar - dandy
                          Bayonne
                          United States
                          Member #61147
                          May 13, 2008
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                          Posted: May 21, 2008, 9:53 am - IP Logged

                          I am SO HAPPY for him .. they seem like a close knit family and it shows he really loves them - no mention of 'dad' so, I'll assume that mama was holding down the fort with the kids .. and he seems quite intelligent and mature enough to use that money wisely - I don't believe it'll be gone in three years, as someone indicated - it's in there for the long haul [especially if he goes back to school] plus, auntie got his back [accountant]

                          as for hearing that voice, I swear I've heard a voice telling me this and that .. NADA! either my angels are too toothy or all gums cause I misinterpret all those whispers

                          and lastly, I am happy it wasn't a fat old man living in a single wide trailor who only dreams of going all classy with a double wide - I was this close to moving to east texas to improve my chances and roughing it with a redneck Razz

                            wizeguy's avatar - animaniacs04

                            United States
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                            May 10, 2005
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                            Posted: May 21, 2008, 2:45 pm - IP Logged

                            Congrats to Jonathan Vargas! Put the money in something safe for now and take some investment classes. Thumbs Up