NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!
The Mega Millions Lottery Jackpot now sits at $1.1 billion ahead of Friday night’s draw – which would be the second-highest figure in lottery history.
Players from 45 states, Washington, DC and the Virgin Islands are hoping Lady Luck smiles as they buy their Mega Millions tickets today.
How does it feel to win millions of dollars?
A person shares.
Tim Schultz won $28 million in 1999 playing the Iowa Powerball.
“It’s just elation after winning,” he told Fox News Digital in a phone interview this week.
Schultz worked at a gas station in Iowa and sold the winning ticket to himself.
At the time, he was a struggling student, working his way through school by pumping gasoline. A few months earlier, he had had a “very vivid” dream in which he had won the lottery.
This dream was so real, “I felt like it was probably going to happen at some point,” he said of winning the lottery.
He had a “gut feeling” when he bought the ticket, telling friends and colleagues at a game of cards that night that he was going to win.
Then it happened – he woke up the next day to find he had won. It was “very surreal,” Schultz said.
Media at the time reported that one of Schultz’s colleagues, Sarah Eldar, 20, said she wanted to buy half his ticket when he bought what would be the winning numbers.
Once Schultz won, she said she wanted her share of the lottery winnings — and challenged him in court.
It turned out that in Iowa you have to be 21 to play the lottery, so Eldar was not eligible to collect the winnings.
Eldar finally renounced any claim to the jackpotsaid Playusalotteries.com.
The lottery can positively or negatively affect a person’s happiness, Schultz said — and every winner is different.
“At some point I felt a sense of isolation – none of my peers, family or friends had won the lottery.”
“Where do you live, who surrounds you, who your friends are and how much you earn” are all factors, he noted.
“For me, at the beginning, it was extremely exhilarating,” he said. “But once that wears off – and it does – you’re still yourself.”
He continued, “The lottery doesn’t change who you are, but it magnifies your personality and your ability to do whatever you want.”
It wasn’t easy for such a big event to happen to him, Schultz said.
“Once that zest for life wore off, I was still extremely grateful for this life-changing win – and I never, ever took that for granted – but there were some things I had to. learn,” he shared.
“If I wanted to go on vacation, I had to pay for other people [to go].”
“At some point, I felt a sense of isolation. None of my peers, family or friends had won the lottery — and I was only 21 at the time, I was a struggling student who worked at a gas station so I could go to school.”
“I felt a bit like an outcast,” he continued. “If I wanted to go on vacation, I had to pay for other people [to go].”
Schultz said he “learned a lot of life lessons.”
“I learned that the lottery can save you time [with others]and that’s priceless, and winning can be a very, very positive thing.”
He added: “I’m the same person I was before I won – I never liked material possessions so I felt pretty weighted and laid back about it.”
In Iowa, the identities of lottery winners are released to the public and people are “coming out of the woods” asking for money after winning, he said.
“I had a team of financial advisers, qualified and trustworthy people, who could tell me how much I could and could not spend,” he explained, noting that it was very important.
“Once I came up with a game plan, I helped people as much as I could – people I loved and cared about and were part of my life – and I did that. that I felt I could for others. I did a lot of things for others.”
“I got a lot of media attention at first, and at the time I was quite a shy person who didn’t really like that kind of attention. I couldn’t even go to a grocery store without the people know who I was.”
Schultz now interviews other lottery winners on his YouTube channel, noting that they “often have very similar experiences.”
(Below is his interview with a “Cash for Life” winner.)
To what extent a person handles sudden wealth “varies depending on who you are as a person and what your goals in life are,” he said.
Schultz does not share where he currently lives, nor his family or marital status, keeping his private life private.
“I got a lot of media attention early on, and at the time I was quite a shy person who didn’t really like that kind of attention,” he said. “I couldn’t even go to a grocery store without people knowing who I was.”
“My advice to anyone who wins is to relax, don’t make rash decisions and seek out qualified financial advisors.”
He added, “Now that kind of thing doesn’t bother me at all. I accept it.”
He said he loves talking to reporters, now that he went to college for journalism and broadcasting. “I also like interviewing people.”
Schultz finds it “very cathartic and interesting” to interview other people who have won the lottery.
“It’s one of the rarest things that can happen to someone. It’s a small club we’re in together.”
His advice for the person or people who win Mega Millions?
He said: “First of all, congratulations! Then I would say: Buckle up because this can really be life changing. It’s one of the most life changing things that can happen to a person. ”
Schultz added, “My advice to anyone who wins is to relax, don’t make rash decisions, and seek out qualified financial advisors. Understand what you can realistically do with the money, then try to take advantage. of life.”