Eliberto Cantu, a resident of Lubbock in north Texas, was over 600 miles from home when he purchased his Mega Millions ticket on Thursday 30th March from a gas station in Stuttgart, Arkansas. The construction worker had been away on business in nearby Hazen when he decided to test his luck, but little did he know that this decision would soon land him a $177 million fortune.
The 71-year-old was delighted when his numbers - 17, 24, 27, 32, 58 and Mega Ball 10 - appeared in the draw on Friday 31st March. Sparing no time, Eliberto began making plans to ensure that his financial affairs were in order before he contacted officials at the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery headquarters in Little Rock. “All I can say is, we’re blessed,” the winner told reporters as he and his wife collected their oversized cheque. The couple now plan to travel, but not before helping to rebuild a number of churches in their area.
The lottery loving Texan, who describes himself as a regular Mega Millions player, opted to take a cash lump sum of $72.9 million, and in doing so became the 55th person to walk away with a prize worth over $1 million after playing one of the Arkansas Lottery’s many games. The septuagenarian’s win also ensured a $50,000 windfall for All Stop Valero, the service station from which he bought the winning ticket.
The Mega Millions Easter cheer certainly didn’t end there, as one player from Illinois won a $5 million prize in the draw on Friday 14th April. The ticket holder, who purchased their entry from a Mobil gas station in Chicago, correctly matched all five main draw numbers on their Quick Pick ticket. The entry included Megaplier, which meant they took home an amount five times larger than the usual $1 million award.
If you would like to become the winner of the next huge Mega Millions jackpot, you can pick your numbers online or play via any authorised retailer ahead of Friday’s $45 million draw. Best of luck!