New Jersey Couple Claims Mega Millions Jackpot
FONTANAROSA'S GROCERY & DELI, TOTOWA, NJ - (October 1, 2007) - The New Jersey Lottery today announced Linda and John Feeney of Passaic County as the New Jersey winners of the $12 million jackpot from the MEGA MILLIONS drawing held on September 25, 2007. The Feeneys came forward at Fontantarosa's Grocery & Deli to stake their claim to this life-changing lottery jackpot.
"Congratulations to the Feeneys, our latest Mega Millions jackpot winners," said William T. Jourdain, Acting Executive Director of the New Jersey Lottery, "John and Linda have now become the third Mega Millions jackpot winner in 2007-and what's even more remarkable is that they're the second New Jersey winner in less than a month."
The Feeneys chose the cash option, which means they will receive $7,079,652 before the 25% federal withholding tax. The Feeneys purchased their winning ticket on Monday, September 24 at Fontanarosa's Grocery & Deli, which is located at 86 Lincoln Avenue in Totowa, Passaic County. The tickets were a 'quick-pick' selection. The winning numbers were: 02, 19, 23, 47 and 54, and the Gold Mega Ball number was 16.
"2007 has already been a good year for us and our family,'' said John, who purchased the winning ticket, "And when Linda and I checked the tickets, well, let's just say that 2007 has become a VERY good year for us."
Mr. and Mrs. Feeney are lifelong residents of New Jersey. John is a Navy veteran who is now retired after a 29-year career with Chock Full O'Nuts Coffee Company, and Linda has had a long career in accounting, which she continues to enjoy.
Mr. Feeney's surprise was a little hard to contain: "Linda checked the lottery numbers against our tickets in the morning when she arrived at work and called me right away - she said she thought we had won. I told her to come home; in the meantime, I checked the numbers again," said John. "I called Linda back on her cell phone; she pulled to the side of the road and I told her we really did have the winning ticket."
Mrs. Feeney also explained her feelings at the news, saying, "After I drove home-VERY carefully-we signed the ticket and put it into a safe place and started thinking about the future. Well, we started focusing on the future as much as you can after you've just found out that you now have $7 million more than you had budgeted for your golden years. It took us both a while just to let the fact that we won sink in-in some ways, I think, it's still sinking in."
Acting Executive Director Jourdain added, "John and Linda did everything right that you could ask of a winner of a jackpot of this size-they signed their ticket, put it in a safe place, and then took the time to think about what they want to do with their money in the future, and the steps they need to take to get there. We love to see our winners do all that before they come forward."
"Today's our 30th wedding anniversary," said John Feeney, "We've made one important decision-we're going out tonight for a great anniversary celebration. Other than that, Linda and I are still busy sorting all of this out-we have some ideas about what we want to do for our future and our family's future, but we haven't made any big decisions yet."
Acting Executive Director Jourdain also noted that the Feeneys were not the sole winners in this jackpot roll: "While the Feeneys will undoubtedly receive the most publicity, it is important to note that they are not the only winners today. From this single Mega Millions jackpot roll, New Jersey generated an estimated $647,028 in support of State institutions and educational programs. Mega Millions is truly a winning experience for all citizens of the Garden State."
Mega Millions member states include: New Jersey, California, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
Since its inception in 1970, the New Jersey State Lottery has contributed over $15.6 billion to State education and institutions. Currently, the New Jersey State Lottery offers players a wide variety of entertaining instant games and five different computerized online games. As the State's fourth largest revenue producer, the New Jersey State Lottery returned over $844 million in fiscal year 2006 game proceeds to important educational programs and State-run facilities. In addition, the New Jersey State Lottery awarded an unprecedented $1.38 billion in prizes to more than 102.5 million winners. On average, 6,100 businesses throughout the Garden State prosper from their partnership with the New Jersey State Lottery. Among the Lottery's beneficiaries are: community colleges, School Nutrition Programs and the Marie Katzenbach School for the Deaf.