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NJ couple claims $126M Mega Millions jackpot

Mega MillionsMega Millions: NJ couple claims $126M Mega Millions jackpot
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Clelia Lopes walked around north Jersey with a winning lottery ticket in her purse for days this summer before realizing the stub was worth much more than the paper it was printed on — $126 million more.

TRENTON, N.J. — Clelia, a homemaker, bought the winning Mega Millions ticket while shopping at Seabra Supermarket in Newark on July 22. She and her husband, Mario, a construction foreman, came forward Monday, more than four months later, still without plans to buy an expensive car, take a lavish vacation or do any other frivolous or impetuous things with their newfound wealth.

"We're working people," the Union County couple said through a family friend, who served as an interpreter.

The Lopes came to the United States from Portugal more than 30 years ago and originally settled in Essex County before moving to Union County. They do not speak English.

Appearing nervous, the Lopes barely smiled as they held up a big mock check with their names on it for $126 million.

"I can assure you they are very happy, they are a little bit nervous," their lawyer, Michael Bertone, explained.

The Lopes actually walk away with considerably less than the jackpot amount. Since they chose the cash option, their prize comes to about $75.5 million before the 25 percent federal withholding tax.

They were the only ones holding the winning ticket on July 22 containing the numbers: 2, 16, 23, 29, 32, and a Gold Mega Ball number 46.

The Lopes seemed uncomfortable with all the media attention, and were guarded about sharing details of their lives.

But they did say that they plan to financially help out their extended family and that Mario Lopes may quit his job. They've also visited Portugal since they won.

"The Lopes family 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 and legal guidance to help them with any questions they may have had," said William Jourdain, acting executive director of the Lottery. "These are the steps we love to see our winners take before they come forward."

AP, Lottery Post Staff

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17 comments. Last comment 8 years ago by Texas Joey.
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grengrad's avatar - nw rogue.jpg
Raleigh
United States
Member #49057
January 17, 2007
172 Posts
Offline
Posted: December 9, 2008, 12:24 pm - IP Logged

Congrats, spend it wisely. 

I cannot believe they have been in the US for 30 years and they still don't speak English? At least it will be harder for people to ask them for money!! :)

Siento nao entendo!

    RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
    mid-Ohio
    United States
    Member #9
    March 24, 2001
    19830 Posts
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    Posted: December 9, 2008, 12:33 pm - IP Logged

    Congrats, spend it wisely. 

    I cannot believe they have been in the US for 30 years and they still don't speak English? At least it will be harder for people to ask them for money!! :)

    Siento nao entendo!

    Beggars will have to hire a translator or learn to speak their language.

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

      Piaceri's avatar - sarsony1
      Republic of Texas
      United States
      Member #57557
      January 9, 2008
      1095 Posts
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      Posted: December 9, 2008, 12:57 pm - IP Logged

      Congrats to the couple!

      My guess is they do know English, but chose to reveal otherwise.  This is not an uncommon practice with Latin American immigrants. 

      face

      singlewinnersinglewinnersinglewinner   


        United States
        Member #67954
        December 9, 2008
        8 Posts
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        Posted: December 9, 2008, 1:22 pm - IP Logged

        wow...imagine to see that amount of money!

          Avatar
          New Member
          Pennsville
          United States
          Member #67955
          December 9, 2008
          1 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: December 9, 2008, 1:27 pm - IP Logged

          WOW CONGRATULATIONS!!! My last name is Lopes also,too bad they are not related.

            psykomo's avatar - animal shark.jpg

            United States
            Member #4877
            May 30, 2004
            5122 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: December 9, 2008, 3:06 pm - IP Logged

            Beggars will have to hire a translator or learn to speak their language.

            Se Se>>>>>>senor' RoooooHoo!!!!!

            UR correctooe'>>>>>>>>>>>>>!!!!!

            Psykomo don't need no translator!

            (DES DUM AMERICANO jus continuuue's 2 loose my assets & KNOT's 2 on D-MM)

              Avatar
              ohio
              United States
              Member #1563
              May 24, 2003
              13742 Posts
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              Posted: December 9, 2008, 3:40 pm - IP Logged

              wonderfulWink

              Welcome to Hit'sville!

              Land of Winners

                wizeguy's avatar - animaniacs04

                United States
                Member #15143
                May 10, 2005
                414 Posts
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                Posted: December 9, 2008, 4:26 pm - IP Logged

                Congrats to the Lopes family!

                  Avatar
                  South Carolina
                  United States
                  Member #62147
                  June 19, 2008
                  83 Posts
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                  Posted: December 9, 2008, 4:33 pm - IP Logged

                   

                  Oh, wait.  Wrong Mario Lopez.

                    cashmoney$girl's avatar - batman38
                    New Member
                    newberry,s.c.
                    United States
                    Member #67911
                    December 8, 2008
                    14 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: December 9, 2008, 5:08 pm - IP Logged

                    Some people have all the luck, my congrats to the couple.Group Hug

                      Avatar
                      San Diego, CA
                      United States
                      Member #58386
                      February 12, 2008
                      287 Posts
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                      Posted: December 9, 2008, 9:53 pm - IP Logged

                      "The land of opportunity"

                        Avatar
                        Franklin-n.c
                        United States
                        Member #37194
                        April 12, 2006
                        36 Posts
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                        Posted: December 10, 2008, 12:17 am - IP Logged

                        maybe they can buy Rosetastone software and learn English now

                          s5thomps's avatar - Lottery-033.jpg
                          Hard Luck, Ak
                          United States
                          Member #23472
                          October 13, 2005
                          275 Posts
                          Offline
                          Posted: December 10, 2008, 12:40 am - IP Logged

                          Congrats to the winners!, I hope they use the money wisely and don't end up like David Lee Edwards, and Jack Whittaker. With the economy in turmoil and people losing jobs daily, It's nice to see them take their time and get sound financial advice. I think they should be okay as long as they feel like it it is not their job to help every Tom, Dick, and Harry out there who is sure to come looking for a handout.  Good luck to anyone who purchased a ticket for tonights Mega millions drawing.

                                                                                                                             Cheers

                            Avatar
                            CT
                            United States
                            Member #62299
                            June 23, 2008
                            53 Posts
                            Offline
                            Posted: December 10, 2008, 7:19 am - IP Logged

                            Congrats to the couple!

                            My guess is they do know English, but chose to reveal otherwise.  This is not an uncommon practice with Latin American immigrants. 

                            Yeah, they probably lied about not knowing english.  I find it hard to believe that you can live in a country for 30 years and not AT LEAST pick up a few bits and pieces of English, enough to hold a basic conversation.  I think they lied so people would leave them them alone.  People lie.  It's true.

                             

                            SC