Arkansas Mega Millions Winner Collects $177 Million Jackpot

Tuesday April 18th 2017

As citizens across the US celebrated Easter, one lucky ticket holder was busy toasting a $177 million Mega Millions jackpot win. Eliberto L. Cantu, who matched all five main draw numbers and the Mega Ball in the drawing on Friday March 31st, collected his check from Arkansas Scholarship Lottery headquarters in Little Rock on Monday.

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Eliberto, a resident of Lubbock, Texas, was over 600 miles from his home town when he purchased his Mega Millions ticket from All Stop Valero, a gas station in Stuttgart, Arkansas. The construction worker had been working on a project near Hazen when he picked up his lucky entry. “All I can say is, we’re blessed,” the 71-year-old told reporters as he picked up his winnings.

The long-time lottery lover, who opted to take the cash lump sum, became the 55th person to walk away with a prize of at least $1 million after playing one of Arkansas Lottery’s many games. The septuagenarian also wrote his name into the Mega Millions history books by becoming the state’s first ever jackpot winner. Celebrations even spilled over to the gas station which sold the winning ticket, as the retailer received $50,000 in commission.

Eliberto, who collected his giant check alongside his wife, now plans to travel the world, but not before donating some of his newfound wealth to help rebuild a number of local churches. However, it seems that it might take some time before the enormity of the win hits home, with the couple’s son telling reporters that his mother and father “still don’t believe it’s real.”

There was even more Easter cheer for one Mega Millions player from Illinois who scooped a $5 million prize in the drawing on Friday April 14th. The ticket, which was bought at a Mobil gas station in Chicago, matched the main numbers 5, 10, 55, 60 and 73, and included the Megaplier option, which multiplied the $1 million prize by five.

If you fancy winning yourself a life-changing sum of money, you can pick your Mega Millions numbers online or play via any authorised retailer in participating states and jurisdictions. Good luck!   

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