Unemployed U.S. man wins $273 million after lost lotto ticket returned

U.S. mega millions winner wants to thank the person who found his ticket and returned it

An unemployed New Jersey man who won last Friday’s $273 million Mega Millions jackpot said he wants to reward the mystery person who returned the tickets to a store where he’d left them a day earlier.

Mike Weirsky said at a news conference with lottery officials Thursday that he bought the tickets last Thursday at a Quick Check store in Phillipsburg, near the Pennsylvania border, and forgot them there because he was more focused on his cellphone.

Someone found them and gave them to the store to hold. When Weirsky returned on Friday, he verified the tickets were his and store employees returned them.

READ MORE: Kelowna man wins $1 million in Lotto 6/49

Lottery officials said Thursday that if the person who found the tickets had held onto them and signed them, they could have claimed the jackpot.

“I’m looking for the guy that handed them in, I want to thank him,” Weirsky said. “I’m going to give him something, but I’m going to keep that private.”

The 54-year-old says he got divorced last fall and had been a stay-at-home husband for years while his wife worked. He said he’d been looking for work for about a year and hadn’t gotten any calls for interviews — until Wednesday, by which time work had ceased to be a priority.

“I had to deny it before I even went,” he said.

Weirsky says he’s going to “sit back and enjoy” the money. He said the first thing he’s going to do is buy a new pickup truck, then buy his mother a new car and pay to remodel her home.

READ MORE: 2018 was lucky year for 36 B.C. lotto winners

“After that I’m basically locked in to what my lawyer and other people I have working for me tell me I can do,” he said.

Weirsky, who has been playing the lottery for years, said he checked the tickets at home on Sunday and saw he’d matched the numbers, but couldn’t quite believe his eyes. He went back to the store during Sunday night’s snowstorm and got the news.

“I couldn’t believe I was the winner of more than $2 after playing after all these years,” he said.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Heavy police presence at Maple Ridge traffic accident

Multiple police seen running into house

UPDATE: Fraser Health declares COVID-19 outbreak over at Maple Ridge seniors residence

All remaining residents and staff have been cleared of the virus at Chartwell’s Willow Retirement Residence

Anonymous donor gives $10,000 to ARMS in Maple Ridge

The Alouette River Management Society has 10,000 chances to win the Great Canadian Giving Challenge

Thousands raised for food bank by caring individuals in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

One family raised $1,100 by making angel keychains and another raised $3,200 by making face masks

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping The News to continue its mission to provide trusted local news

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

B.C.’s Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics goes virtual

The annual event partnering RCMP with Special Olympians is dramatically altered by COVID-19

Bateman program encourages people to sketch outside, connect with nature

#MyNatureSketch initiative encourages Canadians to become ‘bright-eyed three year olds’

Be cautious expanding COVID-19 bubble, Dr. Bonnie Henry tells B.C.

Senior homes stay off-limits as schools, businesses reopen

Most Read