Jan. 13, 2014 – Standing in front of a crowd of Lottery officials and members of the media, Bettina Still still looked shocked. The 69-year-old retiree and her son, Jonathan, were at Tennessee Lottery headquarters Friday for an historic occasion, both for the Stills and for the Lottery.
The $61 million jackpot the Stills won on the Jan. 3 Mega Millions drawing was, not surprisingly, life-changing for the family. The prize was monumental for the Tennessee Lottery as well, because to date it is the largest lottery prize won in the state.
The new record holders declined to speak at length with members of the media gathered at the Tennessee Lottery’s headquarters. Bettina did say, during the event, that she “was astonished and nearly fainted” when she realized she and her son won the jackpot prize.
The Lottery later released a full statement from Still, in which she said she was “truly grateful for this blessing.”
“I have played the Lottery since it first arrived in Tennessee and have always believed that I could win,” she said. “As I keep telling my friends: You can’t win if you don’t play. But, honestly, when I realized I’d actually won, I was astonished. This will truly mean a lot to us.”
The Stills waited a week before claiming their historic jackpot prize, taking the time to consult a financial advisor and weigh their options. The two chose to take their prize in a single, lump-sum payment worth about $24 million.