Thursday, July 30, 2009

Kew Gardens Man is $54 Million Lottery Winner

After weeks of speculation, the lucky winner of the $133 million Mega Millions came forward on Tuesday to claim his prize.

Despite initial reports that the person who bought the $2 ticket on Hillside Avenue in Jamaica was a woman, the city’s newest millionaire is 49-year old Aubrey Boyce, a Kew Gardens resident who immediately quit his job of eight years with the MTA, where he earned about $53,000 annually collecting cash from token booths and MetroCard machines.

“I couldn’t believe I was the winner,” he said at a press conference at Grand Central Terminal. “I kept checking my numbers to make sure… I will probably go on a dream vacation somewhere warm. Maybe the islands.”

By taking the jackpot in a lump sum, Boyce walks home with $54,648,351. “I used to play the lottery so I could win big - big enough to retire, have enough to live on. Now, I really don’t know what I’ll do beyond just taking care of my family,” he said.

Boyce said he typically spends $12 a week on lottery tickets, but laid out just $2 on the morning of July 7 for two sets of Quick Pick numbers from that evening’s Mega Millions drawing. “I went to a different store the next day to check the winning numbers,” he said. “I saw my numbers and got a little nervous. I went online to double check and there they were again… My wife and I haven’t reallyslept since.” By picking the numbers 25, 27, 35, 38, 39 and 28 for the Mega Ball, Boyce was the only person to strike the winning combination.

He described himself as the “quiet, laid back type” and said his neighbors shouldn’t expect to see him driving around his Kew Gardens neighborhood, where he lives in a one-bedroom apartment with his wife, in a fancy car. “I’m a laid-back guy, so you know, something not too flashy,” he said.

As a reward for selling the winning ticket, the owner of Shiv Convenience received a $10,000 bonus.

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