Mega Millions Winner Stays Mum for Months, Surprises Wife

Eugene Taylor - Mega Millions_webGene Taylor of Westminster kept his $15,000 Mega Millions win a secret all summer!

Claims $15,000 prize from July 17 drawing

Eugene “Gene” Taylor of Westminster can really, really keep a secret. The 59-year-old won $15,000 playing Mega Millions in July and didn’t tell a soul about his good fortune until Sept. 21, when he claimed his prize at Lottery headquarters in Baltimore.

The Carroll County man enjoys playing Mega Millions and usually picks up a few tickets while running errands. Back in July, he was doing just that when he purchased a $4 Quick Pick ticket with the Megaplier option. His lucky store was Wawa #8501 located at 516 Main Street in Reisterstown.

A few days after the drawing, Gene checked the winning ticket. “I went on the computer to see how much and thought, ‘This is very cool,’ ” he said. Gene was one of three Maryland players who matched four balls plus the Mega ball in the July 17 drawing and the only Marylander who added the Megaplier option to his ticket. The multiplier of three tripled his $5,000 prize!

Because the summer was so busy, the National Aquarium employee decided to hold onto his ticket until things settled down. His wife, a middle school art teacher, had no idea he’d won until he surprised her with the news in a text that said, “What would you say if I told you I won Mega Millions?’ ” The winner then texted her a picture of the ticket, a picture of the prize amount and, finally, a picture of the actual check.

“I can just imagine her trying to keep it together around all those kids today,” he said, chuckling. They will invest some of the prize for their 13-year-old child’s future and Gene plans to have a nice dinner with his wife in hopes she will forgive him for keeping his win a secret all summer.