New Jersey native recently moved to San Diego
Updated: Jan. 8, 2008 at 7:47 p.m.
SAN DIEGO — The $47 million winner of the Mega Millions lottery game was all smiles Wednesday afternoon when he claimed his winnings and was introduced at a news conference as Todd Moitz, California Lottery officials said.
Moitz, a 24-year-old former Farmer's Insurance agent, said he's overwhelmed by the news and hasn't yet decided what to do with the windfall.
He has elected the cash option, which is worth $32 million before taxes.
"Cash is king," Moitz said, explaining his choice for the payment option.
Moitz bought the ticket at a 7-Eleven on Cass Street near Loring Street in Pacific Beach, where he lives. The winning numbers: 2, 11, 19, 21, 34 and the Mega number 38, were announced Friday night.
He said he typically buys $2 for two tickets, and he chooses the lottery numbers to play. He typically plays the day of the drawing and didn't expect to win.
Moitz said he discovered his riches Saturday morning when he checked the numbers on a Web site and did "a double-take." [Editor: still trying to determine which Web site he checked.]
"You never actually expect (the numbers) to actually land," he said. "It's surreal. It's a dream come true."
Moitz said he pounded on his roommate's door and had him verify the numbers matched those drawn.
Since then, Moitz said he's been texting and calling relatives to share the news.
Despite his openness, Moitz declined to state his dating status.
The University of Delaware graduate who moved to San Diego from New Jersey in August chuckled when he said he had studied business.
"It's the best time of my life," said Moitz, who also drives a Zamboni at the San Diego Ice Arena in Mira Mesa. "I love this city."
He avoided questions about what his first big purchase might be, where he might settle down, and his relationship status.
Nor was he sure of his future work plans.
"I really don't know," Moitz said.
Flanked by his parents and sister during the news conference, Moitz said his mind is running "a mile a minute."
"I have to wait for it to slow down to a normal speed before I can make a rational decision," Moitz said. Regardless of what he does with the money, he said his family would be taken care of.
Charles Rich, a lottery sales manager, praised Moitz, a University of Delaware graduate who studied finance and marketing.
"I feel very confident he'll do well with this," Rich said. "I don't think he'll have any problems."
But will Moitz remain among the one-third of local residents who buy lottery tickets?
"Of course," he said.
The store is also expected to receive $230,000, a ½ percent share of the jackpot.
Store owner Palvinder Hundal, who has owned the store for three years, said it's the first time a winning number was purchased there.
Hundal said he would share some of the money with his employees and some would help pay school costs for his children.
Mega Millions is a multi-state game played in twelve states and has drawings on Tuesdays and Fridays.
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