HUFFINGTON POST
09/26/2012 01:18 pm ET

Nicholas Ruth, Teen Cancer Survivor, Wins Mega Millions Lottery, Will Pay It Forward (VIDEO)

Nicholas Ruth might not have hit the jackpot, but he's got more than enough cash to spread around. And the Maryland teenager intends to give back to a few good causes.

The 19-year-old, a cancer survivor who was diagnosed with leukemia in 2005, matched five of the six numbers in the state's Mega Millions lottery, earning himself a second-tier prize of $250,000. After taxes, Ruth will have about $165,000 to spend.

Besides paying off his car and putting some cash aside to buy a house, he plans to donate to various organizations that helped him when he was sick, including the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Believe in Tomorrow, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which sent him on a cruise.

“People keep saying I deserve it and what I went through, but there’s people far off worse than what I went through that can use the money more than me and I’m just glad I can help them out,” Ruth told WNCN.

Ruth has been cancer-free for 4 years and hopes to be a police officer one day. He picked up his winnings Monday with his mother and aunt, the Washington Post reports.

"[Nick is] a nice young man. He's a hard worker, and he's a cancer survivor willing to give back, so he's really an exceptional winner, and we're thrilled that he won," Erica Palmisano, a Maryland Lottery spokeswoman, told NBC News.

WBAL reports that Ruth's win was the culmination of a routine that he kept up for more than a year, purchasing Mega Millions tickets every Friday from a 7-Eleven near his work. Although he wasn't scheduled to work last Friday, he went ahead and bought his ticket anyway.

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