COLUMBIA, SC (May 23, 2008) – Jonathan Vargas is only 19 years old, but he has the wisdom of someone much older. “Investing my money is very important. I have my family to protect and help secure their futures.”
Those were the words South Carolina’s newest, and youngest, Powerball® jackpot winner shared at a news conference May 19 in Columbia when he stepped forward to claim his $35.3 million prize.
Vargas has other plans for his multi-million dollar jackpot. “I want to honor my mother and buy her a brand new house,” the lucky teen said. Vargas also intends to go to college and major in finance so he can manage his fortune. In the meantime, the modest 35-million-dollar-man has hired a financial planner to help supervise his funds. Vargas has opted to take the lump sum payment of $17.3 million.
When Vargas won the Powerball® jackpot in the May 17 drawing, he became the first South Carolina resident to win the top prize. Four earlier Powerball® jackpot winning tickets were sold in the state during the past five years, but all of those winners lived in North Carolina.
The winning white ball numbers in the May 17 drawing were 12, 14, 15, 21, and 43. The red Powerball® number was 30 and the PowerPlay® multiplier selected was 3. Vargas used the ages his four siblings will turn this year and the age of his mother was to turn on Sunday as the white ball numbers and guessed the Powerball®.
Vargas purchased his winning ticket in West Columbia at Raceway #6747. It was the first time he had played Powerball®!