HOPE TOWNSHIP, NJ (Warren County) – Ronnie Martin of Long Pond, Pennsylvania drives to New Jersey every day for work and regularly stops at the US Gas, located at 423 Blairstown Road, to pick up a few Lottery tickets. On Tuesday, July 24, the evening of the $543 million jackpot drawing, Ronnie bought three Mega Millions tickets, selecting his own numbers.
Ronnie’s hand-picked numbers weren’t family birthdays or important dates, but numbers that were on the slip of paper in a fortune cookie he opened years ago. He liked the numbers and decided to stick with them.
The next day, Ronnie stopped in the gas station to scan his tickets. When he placed one of the tickets under the scanner, the scanner displayed the message, “See clerk.” Ronnie went up to the clerk, Gary, and complained that the scanner wouldn’t show him any information. Because Ronnie is a regular, Gary recognized him and knew immediately that Ronnie must be the winner of the $1,000,000 prize from the previous night. “You’ve got the million dollar ticket!” Gary exclaimed.
Ronnie didn’t believe him and asked him to scan the ticket to be sure. Gary insisted he knew it was the million dollar ticket before scanning it, showing Ronnie the five numbers in a row that matched the drawing perfectly. Ronnie thought he was just messing with him and wanted to see Gary scan the ticket, just to be sure. When he Gary scanned the ticket and showed Ronnie the display indicating $1,000,000 – it finally sunk. Ronnie finally believed he actually was a big winner and with a breath of relief, said “Alright, let’s get the form out!”
Ronnie and his wife, Shirley, will use the prize money to pay off their house and current bills before putting the rest toward their savings.