Teen cancer survivor from Maryland wins $250,000 in Mega Millions drawing


Nick Ruth, 19, of Towson, won $250,000 in a recent Mega Millions lottery drawing. Ruth, a cancer survivor, said he plans to donate a portion of his winnings to charity. (Courtesy of Maryland Lottery)
September 26, 2012

A 19-year-old cancer survivor from Towson is $250,000 richer this week after matching five numbers in Maryland’s Mega Millions drawing.

Nick Ruth, who has regularly played the lottery for the last year, won the second-tier prize in Friday’s drawing.

He told Maryland Lottery officials that he always buys his Mega Millions tickets at the 7-Eleven near his job as a dishwasher. Even though he wasn’t scheduled to work on Friday, he drove to the store, located at 8507 Loch Raven Boulevard in Towson, to pick his numbers because it “just felt right.”

Ruth bought three tickets on Friday and checked the numbers Saturday evening. He was in disbelief that he had actually matched five of the six winning numbers.

“I couldn’t believe it, so I asked my mom to look at the ticket,” Ruth said.  “Once we figured out how much I’d won, we started to run all over the house screaming.  After we calmed down, we looked at each other and started screaming and running again.”

See photos of past Mega Millions jackpot champs.

Ruth picked up his check for $250,000 from lottery headquarters Monday morning with his mother and aunt. After taxes, he will get about $165,000.

Ruth told lottery officials that he plans to pay off his car, put some money in the bank, and donate to charity.

“As a cancer survivor, it is really important for me to give back.  I want to ‘pay forward’ what some wonderful local organizations did for me, so I am definitely going to donate money to cancer organizations.”

Ruth has been in remission from leukemia for seven years, lottery officials said.

The 19-year-old said he is now waiting for the results of a job application to become a police officer.

“I believe that things happen in threes: I won this huge amount of money, the Ravens won [Sunday night], and I’m hoping I’ll get this job,” he said. “That would really be icing on the cake!”

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