Brian McCarthy, son of millionaire Robert McCarthy, added to the family fortune when he scooped the Virginia State Mega Millions jackpot back in July 2011. The 25 year old lottery addict had bought 5 lucky dip tickets before learning on Facebook that he was winner of the $107 million Mega Millions prize.
And it wasn’t the first time the graduate who worked as an account manager for Pepsi had been lucky. Twice before, he’d won $1,000 on scratch cards to the amazement of his friends and family. He told the Fairfax Times in Virginia that it was probably these ‘little’ wins that kept him buying tickets and that eventually led to the windfall in July 2011 when he had Mega Millions winning numbers.
Son of the president of the Marriott hotel chain, McCarthy Junior was a regular lottery ticket buyer and had just moved back in with his parents when he heard the Mega Millions results and discovered he was suddenly a multi-millionaire in his own right.
Like many other lottery players, he had an idea that he may have won the Mega Millions prize when the local news declared where the winning ticket had been bought. On hearing that it was the Giant in Herndon, Virginia, McCarthy went scrambling for his ticket, excited to find out if he was the one with the winning Mega Millions numbers.
With hardly anyone in the house because they were at the beach, he went downstairs to tell his grandmother the Mega Millions results and that he was a jackpot winner. They celebrated with a toasted cheese sandwich.
Like a lot of Mega Millions lotto winners, McCarthy chose to take the lump sum prize instead of regular instalments. That means he netted an amazing $68.4 million, dwarfing his father’s annual salary of around $1.2 million a year.
He was quick to start spending the money too, buying a brand new BMW M3 which he had specially built in Germany and arranging a few golfing trips to Ireland. $50,000 was also donated to two local charities, Herndon Reston FISH and Herndon Optimist Club. Because he had grown up in Herndon, the 25 year old said he wanted to give something back to the community straight away but he also now had to decide what to do with all that money.
Beyond that McCarthy was hoping to invest his new found wealth and look for another job. He was going to wait a little while before deciding where he was going to live but he was certain at the outset about a few things. "It's just going to have to be a vehicle for me to do something I'm passionate about in life and help those less fortunate," he told reporters when he turned up to collect the winning cheque.
Asked about his love life, McCarthy admitted that he was single but that his prospects had definitely improved in the last few weeks.
The easy pick Mega Millions winning numbers for the July 1st 2011 draw were 12, 17, 30, 35, 47 with the Mega Ball number 26. The jackpot had not been won since May 28th and during that time $4.4 million was raised for Virginia’s schools programme. At the time, it was the third largest jackpot win and McCarthy was the seventh Mega Millions jackpot winner.
The Herndon grocery store where McCarthy bought his lottery ticket also received a $50,000 bonus.