When the Mega Millions lottery reached a record-breaking $1.6 billion, most people rush right out to score a ticket. One man broke his hip on the way to get his ticket, catching what turned out to be the “lucky break” of a lifetime.
12. Richer Than a Celebrity
It was lottery mania last October, when the lottery for Mega Millions hit a peak of nearly $1.6 billion dollars. That’s more than the net worth of mega stars like Lady Gaga, George Clooney, and Jennifer Lopez. Even a fraction of that amount would be life-changing money for almost everyone, including an 87-year old named Earl Livingston.
11. Record-Breaking Lottery
Like many other people, Livingston had heard about the huge Mega Millions jackpot on the TV and determined that he might as well take a shot at winning. He left his New Jersey home to hit up the drug store for a ticket.
10. A Bad Break
However, that’s when things took a turn for the worse. Livingston started to cross the street, just as he had done hundreds of times before. This time he happened to fall down and break his hip right outside this store, before he made it to buy the ticket. He was rushed to Jefferson Stratford Hospital.
9. The Hospital Lottery Pool
The amiable Livingston was explaining to the nurses and doctors what happened when he broke his hip. His niece, Bobbie Mickle, explained what went down. She told NBC10 News that “He told them he was on his way to buy a lottery ticket and he was disappointed that he didn’t get it. So, they said, ‘Why don’t you go in with us? We’re also buying a lottery ticket.’”
8. Happy to Accept
Physician’s assistant Kristine Trotter and Registered Nurse Steve Gurley decided it would be fun to invite Livingston to the lottery pool. About 141 other people who worked in the hospital joined in on the ticket-buy. Livingston was delighted to accept.
7. Million-Dollar Winners
Later that week, it was time to see what numbers were drawn. No one truly believes they will win the lottery, but it’s hard not to get excited about a game of chance. The hospital employees and Livingston checked the numbers against their tickets. That’s when it dawned on them: they had won a $1 million-dollar pot.
6. Incredibly Grateful
Livingston was thrilled for the hospital workers and they were happy to share their winnings with him. Trotter ran down the hall to tell Livingston that they had won. His reaction was to thank everyone for their kindness. “I want to thank everybody. I appreciate very much and God bless you and have a happy, happy long life,” Livingston exclaimed.
5. Too Much Pain Meds?
Livington’s niece thought he might be confused when he informed her, he had won the lottery. “I didn’t believe him when I got here,” Mickle said. “I thought he was confused, maybe from pain meds. And then the staff came into the room and they were saying congratulations. And I was like, ‘Wow, he really did win.’”
4. Say Cheese
Hospital staff called the man their good luck charm. His broken hip turned out to give new meaning to the terms ‘lucky break’ and ‘break a leg.’ He made everyone smile. Trotter and Livingston posed for a photograph with a giant copy of the winning ticket.
3. Group Photo
A group photo of all 141 people in the group was also taken. Everyone felt joy for winning money, but they also look thrilled to be in the company of people they know and work with every day. Few people have experienced the thrill of winning a lottery.
2. Over $7,000
Each person will take home approximately $7,400 before taxes, and over $4,000 after taxes. That’s a pretty great return on a $2 lottery ticket! While that won’t buy you Clooney’s house in Lake Como, Italy, it will be enough for Livingston to afford new recliner chair and big screen TV as he recuperates from his broken hip.
1. Life Lessons
Livingston knows he will need a hip replacement soon, but for now he is on the mend. It just goes to show you that any event could be your lucky break. Oh and p.s.: next time your coworkers invite you to join their lottery pool, say yes!