I don’t know if I would have the patience that Clelia Lopes does. She won $126 million playing Mega Millions way back in July (the 22nd), but just now came forward to claim her winnings.
She claims that she spent all this time putting together a financial team, and to a certain extent, I can buy that explanation. But four months? What if she lost the ticket? Or it was accidentally destroyed. What if (God forbid) she died?
I don’t know about you, but when I win my Powerball jackpot, as I believe I will someday (power of positive thinking, right?), I’m going to claim the cash the next day possible. What would you do?
But that’s me.
Clelia and her husband, Mario, a construction foreman, came forward more than four months after buying the ticket, still without plans to buy an expensive car, take a lavish vacation or do any other frivolous or impetuous things with their newfound wealth.
“We’re working people,” they said through a family friend, who served as an interpreter.
The Lopes came to the United States from Portugal more than 30 years ago and originally settled in Essex County, New Jersey. They do not speak English.
Appearing nervous, the Lopes barely smiled as they held up a big mock check with their names on it for $126 million.
“I can assure you they are very happy, they are a little bit nervous,” their lawyer, Michael Bertone, explained.
The Lopes actually walk away with considerably less than the jackpot amount. Since they chose the cash option, their prize comes to about $75.5 million before the 25 percent federal withholding tax.
They were the only ones holding the winning ticket on July 22 containing the numbers: 2, 16, 23, 29, 32, and a Gold Mega Ball number 46.
The Lopes said they plan to financially help out their extended family and that Mario Lopes may quit his job.
Well, Jeez, I would hope so.
They’ve also visited Portugal since they won.
There was no winner in the Wednesday night Powerball game. The winning numbers were 6,15,24,37, 41 and the Power ball was 37. Saturday’s jackpot is $40 millon.
Friday night’s Mega Millions jackpot is worth an eye popping $207 million.
Friday night’s Euro Millions jackpot is worth 15 million Euros, or about $19.4 million, U.S.
Good luck, everyone.