The Garden State has a new multimillionaire now that a North Jersey man won the fourth-largest jackpot in New Jersey Lottery history.
Lottery officials Friday handed Richard Wahl of Vernon a ceremonial check for $533 million for his winning ticket in the Mega Millions lottery game. It was just the second time he’s played the game.
“We’re just humbled by the fact of everything that has happened, some might say it’s shock, we’re not the type that is going to run out and spend all the money and have a good time and party it all up,” Wahl said.
In fact, he said, he and his family want to use a part of what he calls a “life-changing fortune” to help others.
“Our goal is to do a lot of charity work and do good things for people who need it,” he said.
But he said he is no pushover.
“Just because I knew you or you were a 10th cousin down the line way back when doesn’t mean I’m going to help — or I might,” he said. “We haven’t completely decided.”
Wahl opted for the lump-sum cash option of around $317 million. Outlining his immediate plans, the 47-year old said he will retire after he helps his employer find a replacement, go on vacation with his family and perhaps restore an old Corvette.
Fearing that the ticket would be lost or stolen if he let it out of his sight, Wahl stayed in his home until he could take it to be redeemed.
“I didn’t feel comfortable taking the ticket out of the house, I didn’t feel comfortable leaving the house,” he said.
Wahl lied to his mother at first about the win, saying he wasn’t going to tell anyone but his immediate family until it was verified by state officials.