RELEASE DATE: 10/26/2017
Wayne Harris of Homer is New York’s newest Mega Millionaire. The 58-year-old electrical engineer earned the distinction by matching all six numbers selected in the September 22 Mega Millions drawing for a jackpot of $105,000,000. Harris said his winning strategy was as easy as picking numbers out of thin air.
“I picked them all myself, but none of them have any special meaning. I just picked them at random,” he said.
The new Lottery multimillionaire who shares a house with his father said he checked the winning numbers online the morning after the drawing and saw six matching digits on the last line on his ticket.
“I don’t get too excited about things,” he said. “I woke my father and he thought it was pretty great.”
The winning numbers for the September 22 Mega Millions drawing were: 05 – 39 – 54 – 63 – 66 and Mega Ball 15.
Harris said he doesn’t have any immediate plans for his windfall “because It never occurred to me that I could be buying a jackpot-winning ticket.”
The self-described stoic attributes his laid-back reaction to his sudden wealth to living a life more attuned to simple pleasures.
“I never thought I would have a lot of money so I kind of blocked it out. It still hasn’t sunk in,” he said.
Harris elected to receive the cash value of the annuitized Mega Millions prize. Instead of receiving $105,000,000 in 30 annual payments, he will receive an immediate lump sum payment totaling $66,455,696 (net $43,980,380).
As a general contractor able to pick which projects he wants to work on, Harris said he has not ruled out going back to work once the initial shock of winning a multi-state lottery jackpot has worn off.
“I might consider taking on some jobs if I get bored,” he offered.
Asked what advice he would give to other Lottery jackpot hopefuls Harris said, “You’ll never know how lucky you are unless you play. It’s not a lot of money to risk to win a lot.”
Harris purchased his winning ticket at the Mirabito Convenience Store at 7073 Route 281 in Preble.
The New York Lottery contributed $11,110,641 in Lottery Aid to Education to school districts in Cortland County during fiscal year 2016-2017.
About the New York Lottery
The New York Lottery continues to be North America’s largest and most profitable Lottery, contributing $3.27 billion in fiscal year 2016-2017 to help support education in New York State. The Lottery’s contribution represents approximately 14 percent of total state education aid to local school districts.
New York Lottery revenue is distributed to local school districts by the same statutory formula used to distribute other state aid to education. It takes into account both a school district’s size and its income level; larger, lower-income school districts receive proportionately larger shares of Lottery school funding.
Media contact: New York Lottery Communications Office, (518) 388-3415