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    HomeBusinessMeet TiYahna Bambaata — the NJ liquor store clerk who sold $1.13B...

    Meet TiYahna Bambaata — the NJ liquor store clerk who sold $1.13B Mega Millions ticket


    TiYahna Bambaata has no clue who bought the $1.13 billion Mega Millions ticket from her at a New Jersey liquor store.

    But for a brief moment, the clerk held the life-changing winning ticket in her hand before handing it over to the lucky customer — who has yet to be identified. 

    “It’s exciting. I’m happy that someone in my hometown (won),” Bambaata told NJ Advance Media on Wednesday at the Neptune Township ShopRite Liquor store on Route 66.

    “There was a few people coming in and out last night. I cannot remember who it was,” she added.

    The winner manually selected their numbers rather than allowing the computer to randomly generate them, lottery officials said.

    TiYahna Bambaata, 27, sold the winning Mega Millions lottery ticket in Neptune Township, New Jersey. Aristide Economopoulos
    Tiyahna Bambaata said she couldn’t recall who exactly she told the ticket to. Doug Hood / USA TODAY NETWORK

    “I’m trying to go back and remember … but I have no clue at all,” said the 27-year-old college student studying to become a physician’s assistant.

    Bambaata has worked at the store for three years part-time and is also the niece of Neptune Township Mayor Tassie York, according to the outlet.

    The jackpot ballooned for 15 weeks after 31 consecutive drawings without a winner since December 8, when two men in California split a $395 million jackpot.

    The winning ticket was sold at a ShopRite Liquor store in Neptune Township, NJ. Aristide Economopoulos
    James Carey Jr., executive director of the NJ Lottery, gives ShopRite owner Richard Saker with a $30,000 bonus check Aristide Economopoulos

    It’s the 24th Mega Millions winning ticket from New Jersey and just the sixth jackpot to top $1 billion. It was the fifth largest jackpot in the history of the game, according to the lottery.

    However, the winner has not yet come forward — and may never be revealed since the Garden State signed a law four years ago allowing winners to remain anonymous.

    “If you are the winner, I encourage you right now, sign the back of the ticket, take a picture of it, make a copy of it, and put it in a safe place,” New Jersey Lottery Executive Director James A. Carey Jr. said.

    The winner has the option of either receiving the $1.13 billion in annual installments over 30 years, or take a one-time lump sum of an estimated $536.6 million.

    The odds of winning the Mega Millions are a mind-boggling 1 in 302,575,350.

    The shop was presented with a $30,000 bonus check for selling the winning ticket following Tuesday night’s drawing. 

    ShopRite president Richard Saker said the money would be donated to charity.




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