Tom Schweers woke up thinking he struck it big--$95 million big.
Every day, the 64-year-old West Long Branch man buys an instant ticket and occasionally springs for a Mega Millions ticket at the Kwik Farms in the Lukoil station on Shrewsbury Avenue on Tinton Falls. The store sold one of the two winning $95 million Mega Millions tickets in the country, the New Jersey Lottery announced Sunday morning.
When Schweers heard his local lottery dealer was the winning ticket seller, he thought he could be holding the winning ticket. And then he realized he bought Powerball instead of Mega Millions.
“Of course, I probably would have won the damn thing. When I heard the news, I said ‘You’ve got to be kidding me,’” Schweers said.
Schweers stopped by Kwik Farms Sunday afternoon to buy another ticket and tease Lokendra Khatin Chhetri, the store employee he calls “Boss,” for telling him to buy a Powerball ticket instead of a Mega Millions
“Boss, you told me to buy the wrong ticket. You should have told me to buy the Mega Millions, not the Powerball,” Schweers said, laughing.
This isn’t the first time a Kwik Farms customer struck it big. The store sold a $152,000 Jersey Cash 5 ticket and a $100,000 Super 7 instant ticket, said Khatin Chhetri, 29, of Tinton Falls.
Customer Christa Morgan, 52, hoped the winning ticket is sitting with her office pool because her own Mega Millions ticket wasn’t a winner.
“I buy tickets here all the time. They never treat me right,” Morgan joked about not holding the winning ticket.
If the ticket is with the office pool, Morgan knows how she would spend the money.
“I would pay off all my bills, take care of my family and friends and buy a Mercedes,” Morgan said.
The winner has not come into the store to check the winning ticket as of yet, Khatin Chhetri said. At least the recipient of one big cash payout is known: the store will receive will earn a $30,000 bonus for selling the winning jackpot ticket.