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Georgia man lays claim to half of jackpot
DALTON, Ga. -- A Georgia truck driver stepped forward Wednesday to claim half of a $390 million jackpot, the richest lottery prize in U.S. history.
"I'm going to do a lot of fishing," Ed Nabors, 52, of Rocky Face, Ga., about 90 miles north of Atlanta, said in a deep Southern drawl.
The other winning ticket in Tuesday night's Mega Millions drawing was sold at a liquor store in New Jersey, and the holder did not immediately come forward.
Nabors bought his ticket when he stopped in for his weekly cup of coffee at a convenience store in Dalton -- the self-proclaimed "Carpet Capital of the World" -- near a carpet mill run by his employer, Mohawk Industries.
He said he didn't learn he had won until 9 a.m. -- about 10 hours after the numbers were announced -- when his co-workers told them that someone bought the winning ticket in Dalton.
"I'm still numb," he said.
He elected to take his winnings in a lump sum instead of annual installments, and will get $116.5 million before taxes, or more than $80 million after.
Nabors said he wants to buy a house for his daughter, who has wanted to move out of her mobile home for a long time, and plans to keep working -- "at least two more days."
Nabors' mother, Doris, said the whole family was in shock.
"We just can't believe it. He was shaking so hard they sent him home from work," she said from the door of the rural home she shares with her son. An American flag waved over a patch of daffodils, and a small camper and fishing boat were parked outside.
The winning numbers were announced in New York's Times Square, where the 12 participating Mega Millions states agreed to move the drawing from Atlanta after the jackpot hit $355 million.
The winning numbers were 16-22-29-39-42, with the Mega Ball 20. The odds of hitting the winning combination: 1 in 176 million.
The previous largest lottery jackpot in the U.S. was $365 million in 2006, when eight workers at a Nebraska meatpacking plant won the Powerball drawing. The Big Game, the forerunner of Mega Millions, paid out a $363 million jackpot in 2000.
Mega Millions tickets are sold in California, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas, Virginia and Washington state.