A Georgia truck driver has claimed half of a $390 million jackpot, the richest lottery prize in U.S. history. “I’m going to do a lot of fishing,” said Ed Nabors, a driver for Mohawk Industries, during a press conference Wednesday, March 7.
According to the Associated Press, Nabors, 52, bought his Mega Millions ticket when he stopped in for his weekly cup of coffee at a convenience store in Dalton near a carpet mill run by Mohawk. He said he didn’t learn he had won until Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. – about 10 hours after the numbers were announced – when his co-workers told him that someone bought the winning ticket in Dalton.
“I’m still numb,” said Nabors, who elected to take his winnings in a lump sum instead of annual installments, and will get $116.5 million before taxes, or more than $80 million after. Nabors – of Rocky Face, about 90 miles north of Atlanta – told reporters he plans to keep working “at least two more days.” Nabors’ mother, Doris, told the Associated Press the whole family was in shock. “We just can’t believe it,” she said. “He was shaking so hard they sent him home from work.”
The other winning ticket in Tuesday night’s Mega Millions drawing was sold in New Jersey, and the holder did not immediately come forward. Mega Millions tickets are sold in California, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas, Virginia and Washington state.
The previous largest lottery jackpot in the United States was $365 million in 2006, when eight workers at a Nebraska meatpacking plant won the Powerball drawing. The Big Game, the forerunner of Mega Millions, paid out a $363 million jackpot in 2000.