Ronnie Orender, aged 54, won $51 million in the 3rd May 2011 Mega Millions draw. His winning Mega Millions numbers were 1, 16, 29, 36, 50 with the Mega Ball 16. Ronnie has opted to take the cash payout of $32,300,000 and will receive around $24,200,000 after taxes for his Mega Millions jackpot.
Ronnie Orender, of Bakersfieled, is a truck driver and travels a lot. He says he always gets his Mother to buy his lottery tickets as he is always on the road. Orender went into the Lottery’s Central Valley District Office with his family to claim his California Mega Millions lottery prize. “I just can’t believe this, I beat a million to one odds,” Orender said. The Lottery Officials told him the odds of winning the California Mega Millions jackpot were 176 million to 1, to which he replied, “Yeah and I got the 1.” A very happy Etta Urquhart, Orender’s mother, sat beside her son throughout the proceedings.
Etta Urquhart, aged 75, bought the Mega Millions jackpot winning ticket at Stuarts Oak Street Mobil in Bakersfield, which is about 100 miles north of Los Angeles. She said they have always bought Quick Pick tickets twice a week from the same store. “I checked it twice before I went outside because I couldn’t believe it,” Etta Urquhart told 17 News, “I thought I was going to have a heart attack.”
When asked what he was going to do with the Mega Millions jackpot money, Ronnie Orender said “Just put it in the bank, decide what kind of home we’ll get and probably some cars and maybe give some money to charity.” Orender said he will make sure his parents and other family members are well taken care of. Orender’s stepfather, Bob Urquhart had his answer when questioned on what they were going to do with the money, “We’re going to spend it.” Ronnie Orender added, “It’s hard for us to believe, but we’re going to do everything we can to enjoy it as much as possible.”
On 23rd April 2012, a year after scooping $51 million with the ticket containing the winning Mega Millions numbers, Ronnie Orender had been taken to court by his mother, Etta Urquhart. She claims that her son took control of HER money and went on a spending spree. It transpires that it was Etta Urquhart’s pension money which bought the Mega Millions jackpot winning ticket. When they went to the Mobil Station to meet lottery officials, Etta was so over excited and stressed that, when the lottery officials asked her to sign the ticket, she said her son could do it.
Mega Millions Lottery’s statement regarding the winning ticket was, “It was actually Orender’s mother, Etta Urquhart who took his $2 and bought Mega Millions tickets at Stuart Oak Street Mobil in Bakersfield.”
Ronnie Orender signed his own name instead of signing for his mother. They had a chat about it afterwards and Orender said there would be a lot of attention from the media and other people, so it would be better for everyone to think that he had won the millions, so his mother wouldn’t have to be stressed out.
Etta May Urquhart says she has been buying two Quick Picks a week from the same store for the last 18 years. She said, “Ronnie discouraged me from playing and told me it was a waste of money.”
Etta Urquhart is very upset as she trusted her son when he told her he would take care of everything. She went along with his story that she had bought the winning California Mega Millions lottery ticket with Orender’s money. Ronnie has apparently bought at least 10 cars, 4 houses, an Evinrude boat and has given away $350,000 in gifts. “Ronnie Orender is my son, and I lived with him for 18 years,” Etta said in her deposition, “I know that Ronnie Orender does not have the means to make the purchased gifts described with any monies other than those received from my lottery winnings.”
Ronnie Orender did buy his mother a house using the Mega Millions jackpot money but it is in his name. He also bought her a Lincoln SUV and she has received around $125,000 in cash. Orender has placed the rest of the money into accounts in his name, so neither his mother nor stepfather, can withdraw the money.
Barry Goldner, Etta Urquhart’s lawyer, told ABC News, “For me as a lawyer, I think all it takes is talking to Etta May for two minutes and it’s pretty easy to tell she is telling the truth and there is no question about what happened.” The court ordered that Ronnie Orender’s assets and accounts be frozen.
The matter has now been settled out of court. Etta Urquhart has hopefully regained control over her California Mega Millions Lottery win.