Mike Weirsky, 54, has had a very lucky week. '
The New Jersey man accidentally left his lottery tickets in a convenience store shortly after buying them. Fortunately for him, however, a kind stranger turned them in. After Weirsky checked them numbers, he realized that he was the winner of the $273 million jackpot, an amount that could have easily gone to the person who found the tickets.
Now Weisky, who recently got divorced and is without a job, would like to thank the person who has changed his life forever. The event took place on February 28 when Weirsky stopped at a Phillipsburg QuickChek and bought a couple of Mega Millions lottery tickets. He didn’t realize that he had left the tickets behind as he was checking his phone. It wasn’t until he got home that he noticed his mistake.
“I looked for three hours at home and didn’t even realize going back down Thursday, but when I woke up Friday, I was like, ‘Welp, just another thing I lost,'” he said. Even though, he didn’t expect to find the tickets, he stopped by the store on March 1 to see if they had turned up. Unbelievably, a stranger had turned them in. After the store confirmed that the tickets were his, Weirsky got them back. “I was very surprised… when they were there, I was just very happy. I couldn’t believe it,” he said.
Still, he didn’t check his numbers until two days later. It was then that he realized he had won the grand prize. Lottery officials explained after Weirsky claimed the winning numbers that the person who found the tickets could have easily signed them and demanded the jackpot for themselves.
“I’m looking for the guy that handed them in, I want to thank him,” Weirsky told NBC News. “I’m going to give him something, but I’m going to keep that private.”
With his millions, Weirsky would like to buy a new pickup truck. He would also like to remodel his mother’s home and buy her a new car as well. He got divorced in October and was looking for a job since for the past 15 years while his wife had been the breadwinner. He plans to use his winnings to start a family business, though not before taking a vacation.
Weirsky said that he’s been looking for a job for over a year and has had no luck. Now, he can choose to work or not.
“I was down and now all of a sudden, I’m way up,” he said. “I don’t know how much higher I can get!”
Weirsky will collect the money as a lump sum of $162 million, rather than in installments. Meanwhile, the QuickChek in Phillipsburg will receive a $30,000 bonus check for selling the winning ticket.