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.

Just Posted

Two-car crash on road to Golden Ears park

Female driver taken by ambulance; traffic diverted on route to provincial park in Maple Ridge.

Being Young: Letting spring in

Are we biased against spring?

Mad Hatters Parade and Tea Party in Maple Ridge

Event to end stigma surrounding mental illness

Pitt Meadows Foundation chooses its citizen of the year

Peter Jongbloed has been active at city hall and with environmental causes

Pitt Meadows Day fireworks show gets $15,000 infusion

Fundraiser by community groups nets over $22,000

UPDATE: B.C. pilot killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Structure fire destroys Surrey tire shop

RCMP have closed Fraser Highway down to traffic from 152 Street to 88 Avenue

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

Multi-vehicle collision on highway in Chilliwack

Accident involves several vehicles, in the westbound lanes says Drive BC

Man dies after being hit by car in East Vancouver

The driver involved is cooperating with police

Most Read