Retired NYC handyman lands record $476M Mega Millions jackpot
Retired Queens Handyman Wins Record $476 Million Mega Millions Jackpot
Johnnie Taylor, a 71-year-old retired handyman from Howard Beach, Queens, can now put away his toolbox after cashing in his lucky ticket from the April 14 Mega Millions drawing for a record $476 million. Taylor opted for the lump sum payment of $157 million after taxes, according to New York Lottery officials who announced the win on Monday.
“It still doesn’t feel real,” Taylor said. He recounted how his wife thought he was joking when he delivered the good news, forcing him to go online and prove he had the winning numbers. Taylor, who once worked in Manhattan buildings, said he bought the ticket at Liberty Beer and Convenience in Ozone Park, his usual stop for quick-pick Mega Millions and Powerball games. The store gets a $10,000 bonus just for selling the winning ticket, lottery officials said.
Back in April, staff and customers at Liberty Beer were hoping some of the new tycoon’s luck would rub off on them. “We’re feeling very happy. We’re excited, and hopefully, we sell more winning tickets,” said Deepak Parek, a 42-year-old clerk at Liberty Beer & Convenience.
Taylor said he plans to use the winnings to buy a new home, do some traveling, donate to his local church, and replace his aging 2012 Prius with a new hybrid model.
Neighbors were shocked that Taylor had obtained such a large prize. “It’s a little nerve-racking being on the floor where somebody won all this money and people know where he lives,” said Maria Ferrome, 37. “I still can’t believe it, that he won all this money.” Taylor and his wife were described as “nice humble people” who offered help to their neighbor Antonia Lilly when she had a broken foot.
Taylor’s prize is the biggest Mega Millions hit in the Empire State since the game launched in 2002, surpassing a $437 million jackpot ticket sold in Huntington in 2019. The jackpot had increased 21 times before Taylor hit it. “The New York Lottery congratulates Mr. Taylor on winning this historic jackpot, the sales for which brought millions of dollars to New York’s public schools and lottery retailers across the state,” state Gaming Commissioner Chairman Brian O’Dwyer said.
Q: What is the record-setting prize won by Johnnie Taylor?
A: Johnnie Taylor won a record $476 million in the Mega Millions jackpot on April 14, 2021.
Q: How much did Taylor receive after taxes?
A: Taylor opted for a lump sum payment of $157 million after taxes.
Q: Where did Taylor buy his winning ticket?
A: Taylor bought his winning ticket at Liberty Beer and Convenience in Ozone Park, Queens.
Q: What did Taylor plan to do with his winnings?
A: Taylor planned to buy a new home, do some traveling, donate to his local church, and replace his aging 2012 Prius with a new hybrid model.
Q: How did Taylor’s neighbors feel about his win?
A: Some neighbors were shocked and described Taylor and his wife as “nice humble people” who offered help to others.
Q: What is the significance of Taylor’s win?
A: Taylor’s prize is the biggest Mega Millions hit in New York since the game launched in 2002, surpassing a previous $437 million jackpot. The lottery raises millions of dollars for state education and retailers across the state.
NYC Handyman Who Retired Wins Mega Millions Jackpot of $476M, Setting a Record
A retired handyman from Queens can finally retire his toolbox for good after winning a record-setting $476 million Mega Millions jackpot. Johnnie Taylor, 71, cashed in his lucky ticket from the April 14 drawing, opting for a lump sum payment of $157 million after taxes, according to New York Lottery officials who announced the payout on Monday. Taylor purchased the winning ticket at Liberty Beer and Convenience in Ozone Park, a store he frequented for quick-pick Mega Millions and Powerball games.
Taylor’s big win came after 21 previous jackpot increases, marking the highest Mega Millions payout since the state lottery launched in 2002. According to state Gaming Commissioner Chairman Brian O’Dwyer, Taylor’s win brought in millions of dollars for New York’s public schools and lottery retailers across the state. In total, the $476 million drawing ended up raising more than $21 million for state education, $4.1 million in commissions for lottery retailers, and paid out over $10 million in non-jackpot prizes to players. In the 2021-2022 fiscal year, the lottery contributed $3.6 billion in school aid, per agency data.
Taylor is still in disbelief over his good fortune, admitting that “it still doesn’t feel real.” He revealed that his wife initially thought he was joking when he broke the news to her, forcing him to go online and prove he had the winning numbers. As for plans for his newfound wealth, Taylor intends to purchase a new home, travel, donate to his local church, and replace his 2012 Prius with a new hybrid model.
Despite some concerns from neighbors about Taylor’s newfound wealth and visibility, many praised him and his wife as “nice, humble people.” According to Antonia Lilly, “when I had my broken foot she offered her help to me. She told me if I needed anything don’t hesitate to come to her. And only nice people do that.” In the meantime, Taylor’s local beer and convenience store, Liberty Beer and Convenience, can celebrate a $10,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket – with customers like Rudy Pena hoping they continue to benefit from the store’s good luck.