Mega Millions Lottery winner from New Jersey, Giuseppe ‘Joe’ Garofalo was a regular visitor to the Kwik Mart at Lukoil on Shrewsbury Avenue, Tinton Falls in the state. It was where he normally bought his Mega Millions lottery tickets before heading home from work. That day was like many others in the past – he paid his customary $10 dollars for the May 17th 2013 Mega Millions draw and went home not really thinking anything different or new would happen.
After all, he’d been playing the lottery for years and had never won.
The moment when he bought those tickets however was about to change his life. The numbers 11, 15, 35, 43 and 49, with the Mega Ball 41 came up in the Mega Millions draw and Joe Garofalo had a share of the jackpot. He was suddenly a very, very rich man. Not bad for $10 worth of quick pick tickets.
As he chose to receive the cash option, he was going to land a cheque worth $73 million before tax from his Mega Millions lottery jackpot share of the $198 million. Like most of us, Garofalo always dreamed he would one day win the lottery and checked his ticket at the store. He figured he would run home and tell his wife straight away, and then maybe decide whether he was going to go into work that day.
While it took a while for him to convince his wife that he had the winning Mega Millions numbers and they were actually rich, the small piece of paper in Joe’s hand proved that they were made for life. Garofalo shared the winning jackpot with another Mega Millions ticket holder, Lewis Howard, in Cumberland, Virginia.
Lottery executive director Carole Hedinger said that Joe did everything a ticket holder should do. He signed the back of his ticket and put it in a safe place and waited for the draw. He was then going to think long and hard about what he and his family were going to do with all that money. Like many winners Garofalo is running shy of the media and the only certain thing is that Joe’s life will never be the same again.
Hedinger also said that the Mega Millions lottery winner from New Jersey and his family weren’t the only winners that day. The lottery jackpot, which had rolled over since March, raised more than $14.5 million for State institutions and education. And since it began way back in 1970 the lottery has raised an amazing $21 billion for similar causes. The Kwik Farms shop in Monmouth Falls where the ticket was purchased also got a hefty bonus for supplying the winning Mega Millions numbers.
New Jersey was fast becoming the luckiest state and had already seen its biggest lottery winner that year as Pedro Quezada hit the Powerball jackpot and took home $211 million.