By Stephen M. Silverman
April 18, 2002 10:29 AM

Erika Greene, 20, spent $10 this week on 10 tickets for the $331 million Big Game lottery jackpot. It proved a good investment for the warehouse worker from Georgia. On Wednesday, she claimed one of the three winning tickets, each worth $110,333,333 (to be paid over the next 26 years). Yet she opted to take a one-time buyout of nearly $59 million, reports NBC News. “I’m having someone handle the money for me,” she told the network’s news camera. (Her winning combination of randomly computer-selected numbers: 7, 10, 25, 26, 27 and bonus number 23. According to experts, she beat the odds of 76 million-to-one.) Her first phone call was to her boyfriend, to whom she is not engaged — yet. Mike Swofford, shown wearing a Harley Davidson T-shirt in TV clips with Greene as she held a great big check, reportedly didn’t believe her when she first told him she won: “I think I said, ‘Baby, I won!'” recalled Greene. She isn’t sure how the money will change her life, she told reporters. The other two winning tickets were sold in Illinois and New Jersey, though so far the identity of the lucky folks remains a mystery. The U.S. lottery jackpot record remains $363 million, divided by two Big Game winners in 2000.

Advertisement