$1 Million Mega Millions Winner Almost Didn’t Buy Ticket

Friday August 10th 2018

A lucky player who won a $1 million Mega Millions prize has revealed he only bought his winning ticket because his wife wanted a cold drink. 62-year-old Robert Burhans stopped off at his local Stewart’s Shop in Kingston, New York, to buy a drink for his partner, Anne, and the spur-of-the-moment decision to also buy a Mega Millions ticket paid off after he won the seven-figure prize.

One number away from the jackpot

Burhans, a resident of Woodstock, NY, matched all five main numbers on Tuesday 10th July to take home $1 million. He’s set to receive $671,800 after tax and, although he was only the Mega Ball away from winning an incredible $306 million jackpot, he is still delighted to be only one of two Match 5 winners on that night.

The winner held a press conference at Stewart’s Shop where he bought his prize-winning entry, recalling the moment he was returning home with Anne after a day on their boat on the Hudson River. He only decided to enter Mega Millions after seeing the size of the advertised jackpot in the shop, revealing he normally opts for a $10 quick pick when the jackpot is over $250 million.

“I realized I won a million bucks”

Robert, a part-time consultant and president of the Board of Trustees for the Hudson River Maritime Museum, checked his ticket the following morning on his computer at home. He revealed that he underlines every number he matches, and said: “Well this time the underline started at the first number, then the second number in the same game, third number in the same game. Now I’m thinking, ‘Jeez, I’m at least going to get some money here to buy the next ticket’... then I went and got the fourth number. And then I’m going, ‘Whoa. I’m getting real close here.’

“Then the fifth number. And I’m thinking, ‘Oh my god. If I get the Mega Ball, I’m going to win like $310 million dollars.’ And then I looked at the Mega Ball and I didn’t win. And for a minute I was disappointed, but then I realized I won a million bucks. What’s to be disappointed about?”

After sharing the news with Anne, she couldn’t believe they had actually matched all five numbers, and initially thought they were checking the wrong numbers. They contacted an official claim center for clarification later that day, and cried tears of happiness when it was confirmed.

The married couple have pledged to continue living a relatively normal life, using some of the winnings to pay off the mortgage and go on vacation. Robert has vowed to continue playing the lottery and still commit to his part-time job. He added: “We had a life plan and I don’t think I’m going to change much.”

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