$290 Million - WOW - That's A Lot Of Money ... Winning Ticket Bought In Lowell, Massachusetts ...

Stories As They Appeared in the
The Lowell Sun
Associated Press
USA Today


Posted: Sunday, July 4, 2004 - 11:45 AM
Revised: July 9, 2004 - 1 PM -

Winner Collects!
3 News Stories & Re-Cap of Roll Sales


Mass. Cleaning Woman Wins $294M Jackpot
- Re-Cap of Roll Sales -

Texas will be sending an $17.5 million to Massachusetts to pay this winner.
Since Dec 2003, Texas has sent at least $52,364,258 out of state to pay winners.

Prize & Sales Info All 11 States Texas Info Only
Jackpot (5+1) Winners
(Annuity Rate: 1.689%)
ONE (1) $290M Winner
Lowell, Massachusetts
0 Winners
June 30 - July 2, 2004 - Draw Sales $132,519,371 $12,604,973
Roll Sales (Last 16 draws): $531,651,662 $55,426,088
Jackpot Winners Share (Draw)
Jackpot Winners Share (Roll)
$41,995,389
$168,480,412
$3,994,516
$17,564,527
Low Tier Prizes Won (Draw)
Low Tier $$ Allocated (Draw)
$21,784,351
$24,264,297
$1,846,689
$2,307,971
Low Tier Prizes Won (Roll)
Low Tier $$ Allocated (Roll)
Players Shorted (Roll)
$92,967,758
$97,345,419
<$4,377,661>
$9,542,002
$10,148,517
<$606,515>
Mega Million - See Draw Sales & Rolls by STATE
Megaplier Sales By Draw/Players Profit/Loss ... Click here

Mass. Cleaning Woman Wins $294M Jackpot
68-Year-Old Massachusetts Cleaning Woman Claims $294 Million Lottery Jackpot

ABC News
The Associated Press

BRAINTREE, Mass. July 9, 2004 - Meet Geraldine Williams, a retired custodian and cleaning woman who will no longer have to mop her own floors or dust her own furniture.

Williams stepped forward Friday to claim the $294 million Mega Millions jackpot, the second-largest jackpot ever to go to a single person in North America.

Williams, who was introduced at a news conference at state lottery headquarters, said she'll take the payout in a lump sum of $117.6 million after taxes.

Added by sibkkc.ru: There was
$168,480,412 in the jackpot prize pool. 25% is withheld for federal taxes and 5% is withheld for state taxes ($50,544,123.) That left $117,936,289. The winner was paid $117,600,088.

She said she was still stunned by her luck, a week after the numbers were drawn.

"I'm in disbelief," she said. "I can't believe it's me."

Williams, 67, recalled starring at a television as it showed the winning numbers, clutching her winning ticket and muttering, "Oh, God! Oh, God! Let it be! Let it be!"

Williams cleaned homes after retiring as a custodian at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. She said she fully intended to keep an appointment to clean a client's home this week until she was told she had to meet with financial advisers in Boston.

Williams said she told her three children about her good fortune as soon as she knew, but added hiding it from everyone else had been difficult. She kept the winning ticket at a bank before turning it in.

"It's horrible," she said. "I don't like lying, I don't like sneaking around."

Williams said she plans to give the money to her children and some charities, and to travel.

Williams, a grandmother of eight who moved to Lowell more than 40 years ago, said she plans to stay in the area.

A neighbor of Williams called her "a bundle of energy."

"She really will be able to enjoy this. I'm so happy for her. It's unbelievable, it's very surreal," said Paula Peacock, 39.

Peacock said Williams picks up trash in their neighborhood of two- and three-family homes. She added that Williams, "takes care of people that are elderly. If I know, Gerry, she'll still want to go and take care of them."

The $294 million is the highest Mega Millions prize in the game's history, exceeding a $239 million jackpot in February. Williams winning numbers were 10-25-38-39-50 with a Mega Ball 12.

The largest single ticket lottery jackpot winner ever in North America was Jack Whitaker of Scott Depot, W.Va., who won a Powerball jackpot of $314.9 million on Christmas Day 2002.


$294M lottery winner is 68-year-old cleaning woman

USA Today
7/9/2004 11:13 AM

LOWELL, Mass. (AP) - The winner of the $294 million Mega Millions jackpot, the second-largest jackpot ever to go to a single person in North America, is a 68-year-old cleaning woman.

Geraldine Williams cleaned homes after retiring as a custodian at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, The Sun of Lowell reported Friday.

"She was a wonderful person," Mary Recko, a worker in the physical plant department at UMass-Lowell, told The Associated Press on Friday. "Everybody liked her. All of us here are so happy that it was her who won."

Friends and family described Williams as a down-to-earth woman who fully intended to keep an appointment to clean a client's home until she was told she had to meet with financial advisers in Boston.

Williams, a resident of the city's Highland section, is a mother of three and a grandmother of eight who moved to the city more than 40 years ago.

A neighbor of Williams called her "a bundle of energy."

"She really will be able to enjoy this. I'm so happy for her. It's unbelievable, it's very surreal," said Paula Peacock, 39.

Peacock said Williams picks up trash in their neighborhood of two- and three-family homes. She added that Williams, "takes care of people that are elderly. If I know, Gerry, she'll still want to go and take care of them."

Williams was to receive a ceremonial check for $294 million Friday at the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission offices.

The $294 million is the highest Mega Millions prize in the game's history, exceeding the previous high of $239 million in February.

The largest single ticket lottery jackpot winner ever in North America was Jack Whitaker, of Scott Depot, W.Va., who won a Powerball jackpot of $314.9 million on Christmas Day 2002.

The winning Mega Millions ticket was sold at Powers Wine Co. in Lowell. It will pay $11 million a year for 26 years before taxes or a lump sum of $168 million before taxes.


Who has the $290M ticket?

By MATT MURPHY, Sun Staff (Massachusetts)

LOWELL, MASS: One lucky Lowellian could have 290 million reasons to celebrate the Fourth of July. That's because the winning lottery ticket for Friday night's Mega Millions jackpot was sold right here in Lowell at Powers Liquors on Wood Street.

At press time last night, no one had come forward yet to claim their fortune, but Lowell was abuzz with the news that someone from the city might be the country's newest multimillionaire.

"The guy probably bought a bag of ice and a beer and he got $290 million. Isn't that crazy?" said Darren McDonald of Lowell.

Powers Liquors owner Jay Patel, 34, could not wipe the smile off his face yesterday as media and customers swarmed his store to congratulate him. By 10 a.m., television news crews had besieged the Wood Street shopping plaza, and Patel's phone was ringing off the hook.

Patel even got a phone call from media in Nairobi, Kenya, checking to see if he, in fact, had sold the winning ticket.

"It's like getting hit by lightning," said Patel, who didn't mind at all that TV cameras nearly outnumbered shoppers.

He was more than happy to shake his customers' hands and watch as the liquor store he bought just two years ago took national center stage.

Patel said he sold 4,000 to 5,000 Mega Millions tickets in the days leading up to Friday night's drawing.

"I can't ask for much more than this," Patel said. "I feel like I won the ticket."

Handmade posters adorned the store announcing his lucky sale and reminding customers of the winning numbers: 10-25-38-39-50 and Mega Ball 12. Patel received a check for $50,000 from the Massachusetts Lottery Commission yesterday just for selling the ticket.

A steady stream of customers poured through the front doors of Powers Liquors all afternoon to share in the excitement. But no one had an answer for the question of the day: Who was the big winner?

Patel and other store clerks couldn't even venture a guess but said they hope it is one of their regular customers.

"I think it's wonderful," said 78-year-old Ed Derhak, who plays the lottery six times a week. "I hope it's someone who really needs it."

Though it wasn't his day to cash in, Derhak couldn't help but think about what he would do with the staggering sum of $290 million.

"I'd make sure my church got a lot and the people I thought needed money. Oh yeah, I'd share it," he said. "It wouldn't be so much to give someone you know at least $1,000. Wouldn't it be nice to just go out with $10,000 or $20,000 and just give it to people? I'd get a thrill out of that."

Lottery officials confirmed that there was only one winning ticket sold for Friday's drawing. Eleven states sell Mega Millions tickets: Massachusetts, Ohio, Michigan, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Virginia and Washington.

It is the second-largest prize ever awarded to a single ticket and the sixth-largest jackpot in North American lottery history.

Lottery winners can choose to take their winnings in 26 installments or in one lump sum, though the total is less if the winner opts for the one-time payout.

Few could speculate as to the identity of the winner yesterday, though one rumor that made its way around the city is that winner is the son of a retired Lowell firefighter living in the Highlands.

Two anonymous callers telephoned former Dracut Selectman Warren Shaw's radio talk show on WCAP Saturday morning to pass on this tidbit, while another volunteered that the winner was actually a pool of eight people who played the game together.

Lottery Commission spokeswoman Amy Morris said last night she is estimating the ticket to pay just over $11 million a year. Or a one-time payout of $165.7 million before taxes. With a 25 percent federal tax and 5 percent state tax figured in, Friday's lucky winner could take home a one-time total of $116 million.

Not everyone going to the store yesterday was just curious. Some who hadn't yet seen the winning numbers were hoping that Patel had sold them the winning ticket.

Maribel Gervais walked with her 17-month-old daughter Isabel to see the winning numbers. Her husband, she said, had bought five tickets from Powers for the drawing, but she had not been able to reach him at work to find out if they won.

"I think I'd go to Disney World," said Gervais, who teaches first grade at the McAvinnue School in Lowell. "And maybe I'd charter the whole plane for my family."

Matt Murphy's e-mail address is .




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