Senior district judge James Stocklas’ annual vacation to Florida came to a close with him and his friends winning over $291 million in a Powerball lottery prize.
He was on his way home to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania when he stopped on a Friday morning at his usual Bethlehem diner. He decided to use his phone to check if anyone had won the jackpot prize. It was then, he saw that only one winning ticket was purchased, and this was in the same town in Florida where Stocklas bought $10 in tickets for him and two friends, alongside some ice. He checked his tickets to realise that he and his friends were the winners!
His friends are a local woman, who he didn’t identify and a man called Barry Bartakovits. They will share out the lottery prize, to each receive over $40 million after taxes. As a way of celebrating, they splashed out on renting a private jet to travel to Florida to collect the prize, the jet costs $3,000 an hour, with the total trip ending up around $20,000. The day was spent signing papers and sorting out the taxes, before finishing off with a meal in Applebee’s.
In regards to the future, Stocklas says he’ll stick to his role of a senior judge for Northampton County, and will use the money for setting up trust funds, charities and helping his family. He says his life has changed forever, that’s what luck brought him.