Portal, Ga. man wins $275M Mega Millions jackpot

RELEASE DATE: 3/8/2008

ATLANTA – A Portal, Ga. ironworker is the largest single winner in Georgia Lottery history thanks to a lucky combination of his grandchildren’s birthdays. Robert Harris, 47, correctly selected the winning numbers in the Feb. 22 Mega Millions drawing and won the $275 million jackpot prize.

 

Harris claimed his prize at Georgia Lottery headquarters in downtown Atlanta Monday afternoon.

 

The jackpot amount increased from an advertised $270 million to $275 million as a result of strong sales. Harris selected the cash option, which is an estimated $167,694,000.

 

Harris discovered his win Saturday morning when his stepdaughter called to tell him someone in Portal won Mega Millions.

 

“I sat there and cried for a minute,” he shared.

 

Harris and his wife, Tonya, 55, have two daughters and six grandchildren. The family plans to build a new home. Mr. Harris will buy “a big four-wheel drive like I always wanted.” And a Mercedes is in Mrs. Harris’ future. They also plan to treat their grandchildren to something special.

 

“They’re going to Disney World,” Harris said. “My new RV and I are going to take them.”

 

When asked how it feels to win a $275 million jackpot, Mrs. Harris quipped, “Once I start spending it, I’ll let you know!”

 

The winning numbers for Friday’s Mega Millions drawing were: 7-12-13-19-22 and the Mega Ball was 10. Georgia Lottery retailer Clyde’s Market, Highway 80 and Metter Road in Portal, sold the winning ticket.

 

Any Georgia Lottery retailer who sells a winning Mega Millions jackpot ticket can earn the $25,000 retailer incentive bonus payment. If more than one winning jackpot ticket is sold in Georgia, the retailer selling the winning tickets will share the $25,000 retailer incentive bonus. Clyde’s Market will receive the $25,000 retailer incentive bonus.

 

As with all other Georgia Lottery games, proceeds from Mega Millions will benefit education in the state of Georgia. Since its first year, the Georgia Lottery Corporation has returned over $9.7 billion to the state of Georgia for education. All Georgia Lottery profits go to pay for specific educational programs including Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship Program and Georgia’s Prekindergarten Program. More than 1 million students have received HOPE, and more than 860,000 4-year-olds have attended the statewide, voluntary prekindergarten program.