Florida man, 20, claims $450M Mega Millions jackpot

11

TALLAHASSEE — A 20-year-old man recently from Port Richey stepped forward on Friday to claim the $450 Mega Millions jackpot from the Jan. 5 drawing, his attorney said.

Shane Missler holds the lone winning ticket for what is the fourth largest jackpot in the 21-year history of the Mega Millions lottery. It is the second largest jackpot won by a single ticket.

It was not immediately clear if he elected to take a lump sum payout of $281.2 million or to receive annual payments.

The winning ticket was purchased on Jan. 5 from the 7-Eleven store at Ridge Road in Pasco County. Missler used money he won from a scratch-off lottery ticket. He then purchased five quick-pick Mega Millions tickets, getting the winning combination on the fourth set of numbers.

Missler has recently ‘retired’ from a job at a local background screening company and said he looks forward to taking care of his family, educating himself in how be a good steward of his newfound wealth and staying grounded, according to a news release from attorney Walt Blenner of the Blenner Law Group.

“Although I’m young I’ve had a crash course this week in financial management and I feel so fortunate to have this incredible wealth and team behind me,” he said in the release. “I intend to take care of my family, have some fun along the way and cement a path for financial success so that I can leave a legacy far into the future.”

He said in the release that he believes in chasing his dreams and pursuing his passions, and that his life is just beginning.

“If there is one think I have learned thus far in my short time on this earth it is that those who maintain a positive mindset and stay true to themselves get rewarded,” he said. “I look forward to the future.”

Missler redeemed the ticket Friday afternoon in Tallahassee, said the release, which said he plans to relocate from the Tampa Bay area.

The winning numbers were: 28, 30, 39, 59, 70 and the Mega Ball, 10. Missler bought the ticket at the 7-Eleven at 7131 Ridge Rd, which will receive a $100,000 commission.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Winning $450 million lottery ticket sold at Pasco County 7-Eleven

Mega Millions is played in 44 states, Washington D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Last fall, administrators increased ticket prices and the starting jackpot, hoping to boost attention for the game around bigger winnings.

The largest Mega Millions jackpot of all time was $656 million in March 2012. Three winning tickets were sold in Kansas, Illinois and Maryland. A Florida winner split a $414 million jackpot in 2014, previously the high mark for any ticket sold in the Sunshine State.

JACKPOT: Zephyrhills woman claims largest single Powerball jackpot in U.S. history

Pasco County is no stranger to lottery fever. In 2013, an 84-year-old woman was the sole winner of a $590.5 million Powerball drawing — then the largest single jackpot in American lottery history. She bought her ticket at the local Publix and took the lump sum.