Cameron Finney, a 48-year-old Long Island hospital orderly, set his own heart racing when he bagged the 25th March 2014 Mega Millions jackpot. Lottery24 brings you his story, while you can find the stories of other Mega Millions jackpot winners on our website as well.
Cameron and his wife Donna treated themselves to a regular date night on Tuesdays. This particular night, they had a chicken dinner from Popeye’s. On the way home to Mastic, they popped in to a shop to buy New York lottery tickets only to find the machine wasn’t working. Instead, they went to the Gascon petrol station in Coram and bought $4 worth of quick pick tickets.
The following day, a surveillance camera caught Cameron Finney at the aptly named Jackpot, a convenience store in Shirley, clutching his head after scanning a bundle of lottery tickets in to the lottery terminal and seeing the words "BIG WINNER." That was for the numbers 19, 26, 51, 57, 73 and the Mega Ball of 15.
Oh my God, you won $20 million!
“I kept saying, ‘Oh my god. I won a million!’” Finney told the press conference. “I called my wife and she said, ‘quit playing.’ When I hung up the phone, the clerk said, ‘Oh my God, you won $20 million!’” Finney called his wife straight back. “She didn’t believe me so I had a customer explain to Donna that we were winners,” he said. Finney was so stunned with his Mega Millions jackpot, he slept with the lottery ticket under his pillow for two days. "I went to the bank to put it in a safe-deposit box, after I slept with it for two days," he said.
Cameron, who works at Southampton Hospital, attended the press conference with his wife Donna, 49, a cablevision executive specialist and his 23-year-old daughter Christina. The Mastic residents are now more than $7.4 million richer after New York lottery’s state and federal tax withholdings.
Cameron Finney regularly picked up coffee and a buttered roll for his breakfast from Jackspot. The Store’s co-owner Howie Frank told the press how the winner was a “down-to-earth” guy who enjoyed his job. “Just a nice guy.”
The Mega Millions jackpot win meant that Finney could retire from his hospital job. He also planned for a new house to be built for them in East Quogue. He aimed to buy a new Dodge Ram to replace the one that was destroyed; his dream Bentley and a BMW for his daughter. He also wanted to help charities, including St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, as he said his "heart breaks" for the children every time he sees the TV commercial.
Finney described himself as low key and a churchgoer. The Mega Millions lottery winner had seen too many reports about lottery winners wasting their money. "I kept telling people that's not going to be my story," Cameron Finney said. "It's going to last until I'm gone."
Cameron Finney lived in a hamlet called Mastic in Suffolk County, New York State when he won the New York lottery’s Mega Millions jackpot. It was an area for farming, hunting and fishing for Native Americans until the start of the 18th century when English landowners set up estates. Now it is a quiet community about 90 minutes from New York City.
The New York Lottery began in 1967; the third modern lottery in the US. It has the highest lottery sales of all the states and helps support education in New York State. Mega Millions joined the New York lottery in 2002.
Lottery24 has information on many more New York lottery and Mega Millions jackpot winners.