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Greenville family wins half of Mega Millions jackpot

Posted October 12, 2011

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— A Greenville man and his two daughters on Wednesday claimed their half of the Sept. 30 Mega Millions jackpot worth $114 million.

James Jones, a retired banker from Greenville, Allan Jones of Greenville and Kimberly Jones, a high school teacher from Buford, Ga., took a lump-sum payment of $42.2 million. After taxes, the father received $20 million, and each daughter got $4.3 million.

"It will certainly not change much in our life, being 76 years old. We already live comfortably," James Jones said. "I may play a little more golf."

Jones bought five $2 Mega Millions tickets at a gas station on the afternoon before the drawing. He discovered he had matched all five white balls and the Mega ball the following morning when he returned to the gas station.

"The little machine cling-clanged, and (the attendant) said, 'No, you can't cash it here. You have to go to the lottery,'" he said.

When Jones returned home, he said, he had a simple question for his wife.

Mega Millions winner Lottery jackpot winner to invest in grandchildren's education

"I said, 'Honey, what would you like to have?' She said, 'Well, I've been wanting a certain kind of perfume, but it's $65 a bottle,'" he said with a laugh. "I said, 'I think we can buy a gallon, if you like.'"

The other winning ticket was sold in California, and that share of the jackpot hasn't yet been claimed. Jones said his win took a long time to sink in.

"I probably checked it 10 times and still did not accept the fact," he said.

The family plans to invest, save the money for their grandchildren's education and support worthy charities, he said.

Five jackpots have been won in the state since the North Carolina Education Lottery began five years ago. A Greensboro man won a $12 million Mega Millions prize in May 2010, an Asheville man won $141 million playing Powerball in February 2010, a Kings Mountain man won $88 million from Powerball in June 2009 and a Halifax woman won $74 million from Powerball in November 2006.

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  • slayerhil Oct 14, 2011

    "slayerhil: If you win they are able to publish your information anyway."
    ambidextrous cat,
    This was copied from the NC Education Lottery website FAQs:

    "Q: If I should win a large top prize, do I have the option of remaining anonymous with regard to the media and the public?
    A: The NCEL will consider a winner’s name, city/county, and the prize amount a matter of public record, unless the winner produces a valid protective order or Address Confidentiality Program authorization card."

  • Bartmeister Oct 13, 2011

    Lump sum or 30 years pay out? Lump sum, without a doubt. Invested correctly and keeping with a level head........... plenty of money to last a lifetime and still pass on a very generous amount.

  • Bartmeister Oct 13, 2011

    Now this family becomes the target for every beggar in and around Greenville and every shady person on the internet. Congrats to them, but saw a tv show about lottery winners. They become targets of scams, briberies, kidnappings, and worst of all, an overwhelming majority end up broke and destitute. Crazy huh? Wish them the best. I'd be looking at property in Montana, secluded and wide open.

  • clharris5150 Oct 13, 2011

    udoowutchyalike
    2 people won....the total is split in half... $57 million a piece. With the lump sum, he brings home $42 million.....then taxes leaves him $28 million

  • babbleon Oct 13, 2011

    This still makes me smile...

    @udoowutchyalike: The $114M is if he's paid over 30 years. When you pick 'lump sum', they cut it by a lot. The $72M doesn't exist yet, they would have been using money that came in the future.

    Usually, lump sum is the best choice for the winner, even after taxes - if they invest it all, they can usually end up with more than $114M in 30 years. This retired banker knows that.

    Go, Mr. Jones, go!

  • ligonmaterial23 Oct 13, 2011

    I would buy all of my neighbors houses i dont like and bulldoze them

  • udoowutchyalike Oct 13, 2011

    I still don't understand the numbers, he won $114 mil, he takes a lump sum of $42M, he gets taxed on that which brings it down to $28M, so where does the other $72M go?

  • BubbaDuke Oct 13, 2011

    Why is it stupid to take the lump sum? Do you really think the government is going to be solvent in thirty years? It takes them 30 years to give you the jackpot amount. That's only 3.3% interest. You can do much better than that with the lump sum amount.

  • BubbaDuke Oct 13, 2011

    Glad we're getting some winners in N.C. California won three times in a row. Same thing happened in New York.

    I would not be interviewed on camera if I won. The address they get would be my old address; and I would have worked off my notice before claiming the prize. An attorney would have negotiated the sale of the new home on my behalf, and my mail would be forwarded to a service that will reforward to my new address. I would change my cell phone numbers and have moved out of my old house so that nosy neighbors and potential burglars can't find me. I'd move so far away my relatives couldn't afford to come visit. And the only statement I would give is this: I have three rules - 1. If you ask for money, you don't get any. 2. If someone asks on your behalf, you don't get any. 3. The only charities/ministries I will support are those I'm already supporting.

  • ambidextrous cat Oct 13, 2011

    It's fairly stupid to take the lump sum. What a waste!

    slayerhil: If you win they are able to publish your information anyway.

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