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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Royal BC Museum’s Woolly the Mammoth turns 40 years old

The museum is hosting a party on Jan. 26

James Bay to host third annual Window Wonderland display

Residents are encouraged to get creative with their designs

Prices for recreational marijuana in B.C. down from a year ago

New inflation figures show gasoline, housing and certain kinds of food cost more

Meet Arthur Heart, Oak Bay Avenue’s resident stickman

Contest winner dubs stickman Art Heart

Four things ‘not’ to do if you run into Prince Harry and Meghan in B.C.

Here is a list of some things you definitely should NOT do, according to the BBC

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

B.C.-based Coulson Aviation C-130 crashes in Australia

Three people are confirmed dead in the crash in New South Wales

New nasal spray launched in Canada to combat hypoglycemic shock in diabetics

Baqsimi is a nasal spray contains three milligrams of glucagon

B.C. RCMP spent roughly $750K on massive manhunt for Port Alberni men

Manitoba RCMP helped with 17-day search through the province’s northern terrain

Veteran B.C. journalist battles cancer through pioneering immunotherapy treatment

Vancouver Island rallies around JR Rardon and family during stay in Seattle

Island Bakery in Cobble Hill to close

Cobble Hill store in business since 1982

Man killed by police in Lytton called 911, asking to be shot: RCMP

Howard Schantz, also known as Barry Schantz was killed following a standoff at his Lytton home

Most Read