Now Over $1 Billion Mega Millions Lottery Prize – Former Winner Sharing Secrets

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The Mega Millions jackpot now sits at $1.1 billion before the Friday night draw – which would be the second highest number in lottery history.

Players in 45 states, Washington DC, and the Virgin Islands are hoping Lady Lake will smile as they purchase Mega Millions tickets today.

How do you feel when you win millions of dollars?

One person participates.

A million mega lotteries: If you win, here’s how to stay safe and secure

Tim Schultz earned $28 million in 1999 by playing Iowa Powerball.

“It’s just fun after winning,” he told Fox News Digital in a phone interview this week.

The Mega Millions lottery jackpot has now crossed $1 billion.  The draw will be Friday night at 11 PM EST.

The Mega Millions lottery jackpot has now crossed $1 billion. The draw will be Friday night at 11 PM EST.
(Nicole Pelletier/Fox News Digital)

Schultz was working at a gas station in Iowa and sold himself the winning ticket.

At the time, he was a struggling college student, making his way through the school by pumping gas. A few months before that, he had a “very strong” dream of winning the lottery.

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This dream was so real, he said of winning the lottery, “I felt like it was probably going to happen at some point.”

He had a “gut feeling” when he bought the ticket, telling friends and co-workers at a blackjack game that night that he was going to win.

Tim Schultz won $28 million in the Iowa Powerball lottery in 1999. He spoke to Fox News Digital about what happened to him — and the secrets he's sharing with anyone else who might win the lottery this week or in the future.

Tim Schultz won $28 million in the Iowa Powerball lottery in 1999. He spoke to Fox News Digital about what happened to him — and the secrets he’s sharing with anyone else who might win the lottery this week or in the future.
(Tim Schultz)

Then it really happened – he woke up the next day to find out he had won. Schultz said it was “very surreal.”

Media at the time reported that one of Schultz’s classmates, 20-year-old Sarah Eldar, said she wanted to buy half of 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.

one man had

He said one of the men had an “inner feeling” when he bought a lottery ticket, telling his friends and co-workers that he was going to win the jackpot.
(iStock)

It turns out that in Iowa you must be 21 to play the lottery, so Eldar was not eligible to collect any winnings.

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Playusalotteries.com said Eldar eventually gave up all claims to the jackpot.

Schultz said the lottery can affect a person’s happiness positively or negatively — and every winner is different.

“At one point I felt a sense of isolation – none of my colleagues, family or friends won the lottery.”

He noted that “where you live, who you surround yourself with, who your friends are, and how much you win” are all factors.

“For me, it was at first very exhilarating,” he said. “But once this fades away — and happens — you are still on your own.”

Customers buy Powerball lottery tickets at a CA lotto store in San Bernardino County, California, in January 2016.

Customers buy Powerball lottery tickets at a CA lotto store in San Bernardino County, California, in January 2016.
(Reuters/Jane Blevins)

“The lottery doesn’t change who you are, but it magnifies your personality and your ability to do what you want to do,” he continued.

Schultz said it was not easy for him to have such a huge life event happen to him.

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“Once that rebound wore off, I was still very grateful for this life-changing win — and I never took it for granted — but there were a few things I had to learn,” he said.

“If I wanted to go on vacation, I had to pay other people [to go]. “

“At one point I felt a sense of isolation. None of my classmates, family, or friends won the lottery — and at the time, I was twenty-one, a struggling college student working at a gas station to put myself through school.”

“I felt kind of left out,” he said. “If I wanted to go on vacation, I had to pay other people [to go]. “

Schultz said he “learned a lot of life lessons.”

“I knew the lottery could buy you time [with others]That’s invaluable, and winning can be a very positive thing.”

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He added, “I’m the same person I was winning before I won – I’ve never liked material possessions, so I felt balanced and relaxed about it.”

In Iowa, he said, the identities of lottery winners are revealed to the public, and people “get out of the woodwork” asking for money after his victory.

Sweepstakes forms for Louisiana Mega Millions, Powerball, and other lottery games fill the tray at The World Bar and Grill, in Delta, Los Angeles.

Sweepstakes forms for Louisiana Mega Millions, Powerball, and other lottery games fill the tray at The World Bar and Grill, in Delta, Los Angeles.
(AFP)

“I have a team of financial advisors, qualified and trustworthy people, who can tell me how much I can and can’t spend,” he explained, noting that this is very important.

“Once I made a game plan, I helped people as much as I could – the people I loved and cared about were in my life – and did what I felt I could do for other people. I did a lot of things for other people.”

“I got a lot of media attention at first, and at the time I was a bit shy person who didn’t really like that kind of attention. I couldn’t even go to the grocery store without people knowing who I was.”

Schultz has now interviewed other lottery winners on his YouTube channel, noting that they often “have very similar experiences.”

(Live below is his interview with the Cash for Life winner.)

How well a person can handle sudden wealth, he said, “varies depending on who you are as a person, and what your goals in life are.”

Schultz does not share where he currently lives, his family or his marital status, and keeps his private life private.

“I got a lot of media attention in the beginning, and at the time I was a bit shy person and I 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, not make any rash decisions and look for qualified financial advisors.”

He added, “Now I don’t mind that kind of thing at all. I embrace it.”

He said he loves talking to reporters, now that he’s gone to college for journalism and radio broadcasting. “I like interviewing people, too.”

Schultz finds meeting other people who have won the lottery “very interesting and relaxing.”

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“It’s one of the most rare things that can happen to anyone. It’s a small club we’re in together.”

His advice to the person or people who win Mega Millions?

He said, “First, congratulations! Then I’ll say, buckle up because it can turn life upside down. It’s one of the most life-changing things that can happen to anyone.”

“My advice to anyone who wins is to relax, don’t make any rash decisions and look for qualified financial advisors. Gain an understanding of what you can realistically do with money – and then try to enjoy life,” Schultz added.

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