Johnnie Taylor, a 71-year-old retired handyman from Howard Beach, Queens, had a life-changing surprise when he checked his lottery ticket on April 14. He had won $476 million in the Mega Millions jackpot, the largest game prize ever won in New York since its launch in 2002, and the ninth-largest jackpot in U.S. history.
“It still doesn’t feel real,” Taylor said of his win. He opted to take home the cash value of the prize, which was more than $157 million after taxes.
Taylor bought his ticket at Liberty Beer and Convenience, a store near his local subway station. He usually plays the same numbers every week, but this time he decided to let the machine pick them for him. The winning numbers were 23-27-41-48-51 and Mega Ball 22.
He said his wife didn’t believe him when he told her that he had won the top prize. She was skeptical, so he had to go online to prove that the numbers on his ticket matched all the winning numbers.
Taylor recently retired from working as a building handyman in Manhattan. He said he had been working hard all his life and was looking forward to enjoying his retirement. He plans to use the money to travel, buy a new home and a hybrid car, and donate some to his church.
“The New York Lottery congratulates Mr. Taylor on winning this historic jackpot, the sales of which brought millions of dollars to New York’s public schools and lottery retailers across the state,” said Brian O’Dwyer, the New York State Gaming Commission chairman.
The business where Taylor purchased the winning ticket also got a $10,000 bonus from the state lottery.
Taylor’s win seems to be the latest string of lottery luck for New Yorkers. In January, four Mega Millions tickets worth $1 million each were sold across four areas – Long Island City, Manhattan, Newburgh and Plainview.
The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are one in 302.6 million. The next drawing will be on Friday, with an estimated jackpot of $20 million.
– 71-year-old retired handyman wins New York’s largest-ever Mega Millions prize, CBS News, June 6, 2023
– Retired NYC handyman lands record $476M Mega Millions jackpot, MSN, June 6, 2023
– Lottery names 71-year-old $476M Mega Millions jackpot winner from NYC, NBC New York, June 6, 2023
– Lucky man from Queens Johnnie Taylor is winner of record-setting $476M Mega Millions jackpot, ABC7 New York, June 5, 2023