£130m prize is no big thing, says US lottery winner

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The Independent US

He took his sweet time, but finally a retired lorry driver from Virginia let the world know that his lucky number had come up.

He took his sweet time, but finally a retired lorry driver from Virginia let the world know that his lucky number had come up.

He had been holding the winning ticket for one of America's biggest multi-state lottery games since February - and it was going to make him very rich.

J R Triplett said that he wanted to talk to a lawyer first before even claiming his prize, just to "straighten things up" a little.

His winning ticket, after all, was worth $239m (£130m), making it the second-largest lottery prize ever paid out to a single winner in the United States.

"Sweetheart, I've got those numbers," he recalled telling his wife, Peggy, the day after the drawing of the Mega Millions lottery game on 20 February. "Then she got down on her knees and thanked the Lord," he said. Mr Triplett appeared almost laconic about his good fortune - the chances of holding that ticket were one in 135 million - even telling reporters that really it was "no big thing". His wife was a trifle more excited. She was ready to "shop till I drop", she declared.

Mr Triplett revealed he had already bought a headstone for a friend's grave and has plans to donate to local churches.

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