LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J. – A disabled veteran let his wife sleep in after learning they will share a multimillion lottery prize. Then he bought himself a new pair of pants.
"It's amazing what can happen when you stop to pick up a newspaper and a few tickets," John Belawsky said Friday when he and his wife, Sandra, were introduced among the latest winners in the multistate game.
The retired Cape May County couple had one of four winning tickets from last week's $330 million Mega Millions jackpot — the second largest in the game's history. Elwood "Bunky" Bartlett, who teaches Wicca in Maryland, said Sunday he, too, was a winner.
The other winning tickets were sold in Texas and Virginia.
Belawsky, 59, said his surprise at learning he had the winning ticket was overwhelming.
"I checked the last number twice, and thought about waking Sandy up to tell her we won," he said of the Aug. 31 drawing. "I decided to let her sleep, and that was probably a good idea. Neither one of us has really had a good night's sleep since."
So, what was the first thing John Belawsky did with the winnings? Buy a new pair of pants to wear to Friday's news conference.
Opting to take the one-time cash option, the Belawskys will receive about $48.6 million before paying a 25 percent federal withholding tax, lottery officials said.
John Belawsky bought the ticket at Blitz's Villas Market in the town of Villas.
Lottery officials said John is a disabled veteran with over 20 years experience in auto finance and banking. His 49-year-old wife also worked in banking.
It's the second time a winning Mega Millions ticket was purchased in Cape May County. A winning ticket for Mega Millions' biggest jackpot ever — $390 million in March — was sold at Campark Liquors in Woodbine.