Carl Szott, a retired grandfather from Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, claimed an $86.7 million Mega Millions jackpot exactly 100 days after the draw on 20th May 2014. It was the first Mega Millions jackpot winning ticket sold by the Pennsylvania Lottery and the fifth largest jackpot prize awarded in the Mega Million lottery's history.
Twelve times a roller-over
The advertised $149 million jackpot resulted in a lump sum cheque for $86,755,350 (after taxes) awarded to Carl Szott at lottery headquarters. This Mega Millions jackpot had started growing in early April and had rolled over 12 times. The winning numbers were, 10, 40, 63, 64 and 69 plus the Megaball 7.
Like most Mega Millions lottery winners, Szott said he was “in shock” when he first learned that he was a Pennsylvania Lottery jackpot millionaire. He heard about his winning numbers when they were read aloud on the car radio. “Fortunately, I was pulled off the road when I heard the numbers,” said Carl Szott. “As it sunk in that I had won, I immediately said a few prayers.”
The one person he did tell, was his wife, Janet. They decided to keep the news to themselves, and didn’t even share it with their children until a late summer family holiday; they wanted to tell them all at the same time.
As to the reason why he waited until 28th August, exactly 100 days after the Mega Millions lottery draw that made him a multimillionaire, to come forward and collect his money, Szott simply said that he wanted to “make sure we were doing everything right.” He added “We hope that very little in our lives will change; we are really excited to be able to spend more time with our children and grandchildren”.
Carl Szott participated in a news conference to celebrate his win, but asked the press to respect their privacy in the future. He also asked the Pennsylvania Lottery to decline any future press or media interview requests.
The winning Mega Millions lottery ticket was sold at White Oak Gas & Grocery, 15 miles south-east of Pittsburgh and the store received a $100,000 bonus for selling the ticket. Michelle Blackwell who worked at the store said people began flooding in when word got out about a customer becoming a multimillionaire. The store had been a lottery retailer since April 2012.
The Pennsylvania Lottery was established on 26th August 1971 and on 7th March 1972, it premiered with a 50-cent ticket for a game with weekly drawings and a jackpot of $1 million. Since 1972, the Pennsylvania Lottery has generated over $24.7 billion in funding to support programs for older residents and remains the only state Lottery that apportions all of its proceeds to such programs. It helps with cost of things including prescription drugs, free and reduced-fare transit, property tax and rent rebates, long-term living services and centres for senior citizens.
Pittsburgh is in Allegheny County and is the second-largest city in the state of Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh was named in 1758 by General John Forbes, in honour of William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, a former British Prime Minister. Forbes was a Scotsman and it is thought that the pronunciation of Pittsburgh was originally intended to be similar to Edinburgh. Allegheny County is in the south-western part of Pennsylvania and is the second most populous county in Pennsylvania following Philadelphia County.
Lottery24 has plenty more information on the Pennsylvania lottery and Mega Millions jackpot winners.