(CBS) — The winner of the $270 million Mega Millions jackpot on Friday has not yet come forward after the winning ticket — 26-32-44-45-58 — that was sold at a gas station in Glendale Heights.
CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley has great advice for him or her from someone who knows the drill first-hand.READ MORE: Mother Has Questions After Police Shoot, Kill Man They Say Was Wielding Knife In Englewood
When Alex Snelius won the lottery back in 2000, taking home over $18 million, he never thought it would be a “curse.”
“It’s a curse, it’s a curse, believe me it’s a curse,” he says. “One thing I would eliminate: friends and relations, because they’re [the] worst enemy of all, the friends and relations.”
Even now, Snelius gets hundreds of letters each month from strangers seeking cash, but it’s friends and family who left him in a lurch after loaning out $3 million.
“They cannot pay,” Snelius said. “Some of them filed, even, bankruptcy, you know? So what are you gonna do?”
For 15 years now, Snelius has donated a $100 to White Sox Charities for each Sox home run, all to honor Ursula, his late wife.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Rain Coming As Work Week Begins
He’s given away another $3 million to various charities, including Catholic causes. For his generosity, Cardinal Francis George presented him with an honorary zucchetto.
“Right now, if I could win the lottery again, I’d probably give it all away,” Snelius says.
And yes, Snelius still plays the lottery, for just that reason.
“Give it to charity. That’s the most important thing,” he says.
Snelius is a 78-year-old Lithuanian immigrant who retired from the trucking business. He says that’s another mistake. To keep sharp, he says, keep working.MORE NEWS: Farmers Market Vendors Pleased As Open Boulevards Program Kicks Off In Logan Square
Snelius beat odds of 175 million to one to win his big prize and he still plays because there’s no reason that lightning couldn’t strike twice.