Kentucky man heads to bed, not realizing he’s a big winner after playing Mega Millions

Kentucky Lottery

A Corbin resident won a big Mega Millions prize after buying a ticket at the same convenience store he’s frequented for roughly a decade.

George Cerveny won $1 million pre-tax from his lucky ticket, which he purchased from the Circle K on Gordon Hill Pike in Corbin, according to a Sept. 21 Kentucky Lottery press release. The winner said in the release he thought the numbers looked familiar, but didn’t realize he had won until the day after the drawing.

“I saw the [winning] numbers [Tuesday night] and thought those look real good, real good numbers and they looked familiar but it didn’t hit the three number and of course, that’s the [Megaball] and I thought, ‘okay, time to go to bed,’” Cerveny told Kentucky Lottery officials.

But Cerveny had matched five white numbers in the Sept. 19 draw to take a cool $1 million.

“I did a little dance hoping it was real,” Cerveny said. “It took us a minute because I finally pulled the tickets out and checked them and we were like, ‘oh, hell yeah.’”

The Circle K store will receive $10,000 for selling the winning ticket, Kentucky Lottery officials report.

The lucky player and his wife, Jennifer, picked up his check, worth $715,000 after taxes, from Kentucky Lottery headquarters Wednesday, and Cerveny has plans for the money.

“We’re going to get out of debt. That’s probably the answer for most people but we’re going to get out of debt and not have to worry about it…and figure out a nice vacation,” Cerveny said in the release.

The odds of winning $1 million in a Mega Millions drawing are 1 in 12,607,306 per play, according to the Kentucky Lottery. Jackpot winners must be even more fortunate, with a 1 in 302,575,350 chance of winning per play.

The overall odds of winning any Mega Millions prize, including a $2 win, are approximately 1 in 24.

Mega Millions drawings take place around 11 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays, and you can watch them online. Tickets cost $2. Players may add an optional Megaplier for $1 for the chance to multiply non-jackpot winnings.

If you or someone you know has a problem with gambling, help is available at 1-800-522-4700.

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