Local News

Greenville family wins half of Mega Millions jackpot

Posted October 12, 2011 2:11 p.m. EDT
Updated October 12, 2011 5:59 p.m. EDT

— 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.

"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.