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.