So what does a 20-year-old with, ostensibly, his whole adult life ahead of him, do with a $450 million windfall?
Port Richey’s Shane Missler, who stepped forward on Friday to claim the Mega Millions jackpot from the Jan. 5 drawing, said he has plenty of ideas.
“I’m only 20, but I hope to use it to pursue a variety of passions, help my family and do some good for humanity,” he told Florida Lottery officials.
Missler claims the fourth largest jackpot in the 21-year-history of the Mega Millions lottery and opted for a lump sum payout of $281.2 million before taxes — which means he’ll probably walk off with about $170 million after taxes.
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He bought the $2 winning ticket at a 7-Eleven store in Florida’s Pasco County.
In the Florida Lottery’s press release, Missler said he wasn’t surprised that he won. He said he had a “feeling” he might. First he called his brother. Then his father.
Missler used $10 that he won from a scratch-off lottery ticket to buy five quick-pick Mega Millions tickets and got the winning combination — 28, 30, 39, 59, 70 — on the fourth set of numbers, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
In a news release from his attorney at the Blenner Law Group, Missler said he “retired” from a job at a local background screening company and plans to take care of his family and learn — fast — how to manage that much money. And stay grounded, the Times reported.
“Although I’m young I’ve had a crash course this week in financial management and I feel so fortunate to have this incredible wealth and team behind me,” he said in the release. “I intend to take care of my family, have some fun along the way and cement a path for financial success so that I can leave a legacy far into the future.
“If there is one thing I have learned thus far in my short time on this earth, it is that those who maintain a positive mind-set and stay true to themselves get rewarded. I look forward to the future.”
Missler is not the only one who had ideas on what to do with his new fortune.
“If he really wants to live a fulfilled life he will dedicate it to traveling the country and secretly finding people and organizations that are worthy and in need of help. Every day he would experience joy and fulfillment. Instead, he probably will buy houses, cars, and end up being miserable,” a reader posted on the Tampa Bay Times’ Facebook page.
“He is my new best friend and a great young man! Can I borrow a mil!” read another.
“He better disappear fast … there will be a lot of lost friends and buried families coming around.”
Or, as one reader put somewhat cynically, “Could this be the first good news headline ever to start with the words “Florida man …”
Maybe not for long. Missler, who claimed his prize in Tallahassee, said he plans to move from Pasco County.