September 9, 2009

Mega Millions winner ‘didn’t have a dime’

The New York winner of half a $336 million Mega Millions lottery jackpot has revealed himself as a laborer who recently defaulted on a credit card.

James Jimmy Groves, 49, who revealed himself Tuesday as the winner of half the jackpot from the drawing two weeks ago, said he was completely broke before the drawing, the New York Post reported Wednesday.

I was down and out, and I didn't have a dime in my pocket. I asked for a lottery ticket, in 26 installment payments. And the next day, I won $166 million, Groves said. Then the lottery people called me back and told me it was (actually) $168 million.

Groves, who has not yet been confirmed as the winner by lottery officials, said he is already receiving about 40 phone calls a day from family and friends begging for money.

Right now, I'm frustrated. I feel like my family is in a position of jeopardy, he said. This is a dangerous neighborhood.