How long can two friends ante up for a chance to win the lottery? In the case of Willie McPherson, 74 and Christopher Manzi, 44, the answer is 25 years because that’s how long it took until they won.
Each week, the friends pooled their money for a chance to win the big one and last month it finally happened. After 25 years, they won $14 million with a ticket from the Mega Millions. The interesting part is that they didn’t even buy the winning ticket.
On September 18, McPherson borrowed $20 from Manzi and purchased the pairs’ weekly $40 dollars’ worth of tickets which included some Powerball tickets and some Mega Millions tickets. The coffee shop where he purchased the tickets gave him two $1 Quick Pick tickets as part of a promotion. The next day, McPherson realized the winnings came from one of those two tickets.
In an interview with The New York Post, Manzi said that Willie came in and said we’d hit the lottery and we were going to Miami. McPherson told The New York Daily News that they won $14 million on a free ticket and it felt beautiful.
Choosing the lump sum option, the two men will receive a payment of just a little more than $10 million. Because Manzi lives in Morganville, H.J. he will net $3.5 million after taxes while McPherson, who lives in Manhattan, will receive $.4 million after taxes.
The two became friends and started buying their joint ticket back in 1987 when McPherson came to work at Manzi’s Manhattan print shop. Manzi has been retired for 8 years and with his winnings, McPherson is considering doing the same.
As for the Kyu’s Coffee Shop where the winning ticket originated, the owner received a $10,000 prize for selling the ticket.