Bought winning ticket while running to the store for milk
By Todd Northrop
A former high school teacher won Wisconsin's biggest Megabucks jackpot ever, thanks to a quick trip to pick up a gallon of milk.
John Rumpel, of Milwaukee, won $22.2 million from a Megabucks drawing, the Wisconsin Lottery said in a news release on Friday, marking the biggest Megabucks jackpot ever since the game began in 1992.
The winning numbers from the Saturday, May 30 Megabucks drawing were 21, 22, 34, 36, 40, and 43. The odds of winning the jackpot were about 1 in 7 million.
Rumpel said he bought the May 30 ticket at a convenience store after his wife asked him to pick up a gallon of milk.
"It wasn't until after the drawing that I flipped on the news and saw that the winning ticket was sold in Milwaukee," Rumpel said. "I looked up and saw this convenience store and went 'Oh man, that might be me.'"
The father of two said he was standing in his house, alone, when he realized that he had won the lottery.
"I could hardly breathe, couldn't even realize that I had the winning numbers in my hand."
Rumpel chose the cash option of $15.7 million, the lottery said.
He purchased his winning ticket at A&I Services at 5030 West Howard Avenue in Milwaukee. A&I Services will receive $100,000 for selling the winning ticket.
No one claimed the prize for two months, leading some to speculate that the winning ticket had been lost. When Rumpel finally stepped forward, he said it was a moment he won't soon forget.
He had 180 days from May 30th to claim the prize at the lottery's office in Madison.
"Getting that ticket to the lottery was very nerve-wracking," Rumpel said in a news conference.
The Rumpels said the first thing they will do with the money is to pay off their college loans. Rumpel also plans to take off some time from work. He's an alternative education teacher and department chair at Greenfield High School, according to the district website.
The gas station owner plans to invest the $100,000 in his business.
The Megabucks jackpot had been steadily growing for almost two years before it was hit on May 30. The jackpot started at $1 million on June 26, 2013, and continued to grow over the next 200 drawings before it was hit for the record $22.2 million.
Megabucks is Wisconsin's own in-state lotto game. Drawings take place every Wednesday and Saturday night. Currently, the Megabucks jackpot is estimated at $1.3 million for Wednesday night's drawing.
Players choose six different numbers from 1 to 49. The game costs $1 for two plays. Tickets must be purchased 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday or Saturday to be included in that night's drawing.
Top Megabucks drawings
The largest Wisconsin Megabucks drawings since the game's inception in 1992 are:
- $22.2 million (May 30, 2015)
- $20.3 million (August 25, 2001)
- $16.5 million (May 10, 1997)
- $15.7 million (February 23, 1994)
- $15.4 million (September 30, 2006)
- $14.4 million (July 14, 2007)
- $14.3 million (January 14, 2012)
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