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Ohio man claims $20 million Mega Millions lottery jackpot

Mar 4, 2004, 11:55 am

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Mega Millions

Eric Maxwell had dreamed of trading in his sturdy 1994 Chevy Cavalier and buying a luxury automobile, maybe a Jaguar; don't we all?  Now he may do just that.

Maxwell, 45, an environmental lab technician who lives in Dayton View, was identified by Ohio Lottery officials Wednesday as the winner of Tuesday's $20 million Mega Millions jackpot.

"I'm excited," he said, laughing. "I keep saying I might get me another car. I'll probably get a bunch of new friends, too, but I don't need those."

Maxwell chose the cash option, which lottery officials said would be $11.9 million before taxes. The Food City Supermarket at 1829 Germantown St., where he bought the manual pick ticket, got a $20,000 award.

"I play on a regular basis but normally not at that store," Maxwell said in an interview from the Ohio Lottery's Dayton office. He said he was in the Miami Chapel neighborhood Tuesday to throw darts his favorite activity at a club nearby. Instead, he stopped and bought $4 worth of tickets.

"Then last night a friend called me and he and I was talkin'. He was telling me where the winning number came out at. I said I played there last night. He said you better check your ticket. I was cooking dinner and it bothered me, so I went and checked. The ticket was in my front pants pocket. "

Maxwell said he wasn't worried anyone else had washed the pants: "I do the laundry."

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