February 10, 2011 --
Like millions of other people, Joye Epps’ attention was caught recently by the chance to become a Mega Millions® jackpot winner. As a result, the West Haven resident made a spur of the moment decision and purchased a single CT Lottery Mega Millions with Megaplier®
ticket while out shopping. The next day, Epps became a CT Lottery millionaire. “I played a Quick Pick and won a million dollars, can you believe it?” said Epps enthusiastically.
Epps successfully matched the first 5 Mega Millions numbers, 4 - 8 - 15 - 25 - 47 drawn on January 4, 2011, but missed the Mega Ball number of 42. The Megaplier was 4. Because Epps had added the Megaplier feature to the purchase of her Mega Millions ticket for an extra $1, her $250,000 prize was automatically multiplied by 4 for a spectacular $1,000,000 win ($685,000 after taxes). “I didn’t really know what the Megaplier feature was, but the person in line in front of me bought it, so I asked the retailer what it was, and then added it to my ticket,” Epps told Lottery officials. And, she is ever so glad that she did.
Arriving at CT Lottery headquarters, newlyweds Joye and Melvin Epps were dressed for the occasion, both looking and feeling like a million bucks. “We couldn’t be happier,” said Joye. “This will help us buy a house, but it will also help our family and our church.” The $1,000,000 Mega Millions prize will also help to nurture a burgeoning family-owned business, “Mel’s Carolina BBQ Sauce.” “We’ve got Honey, Molasses, Original, Mild, Hot…and Off The Charts,” said Mel with a laugh.
Epps’ million-dollar winning ticket was the largest sold in Connecticut for the January 4th Mega Millions drawing. Additionally, 56,166 winning tickets with prize values from $2 to $40,000 were sold throughout the state for that game. The $380 million jackpot was won on two tickets, one sold in Idaho the other Washington state.
Sam’s Food Store, located at 665 Campbell Avenue in West Haven, sold Epps’ her winning ticket and will receive a $2,500 bonus from the CT Lottery for doing so.