▶ Watch Video: Queens man claims $476 million Mega Millions jackpot

A 71-year-old New York resident who only recently stopped working now has the chance to live out the retirement of his dreams. Johnnie Taylor, who lives in Howard Beach, Queens, has won $476 million in the Mega Millions jackpot – the largest game prize ever won in New York since its launch in 2002. 

“It still doesn’t feel real,” Taylor said of his win. He opted to take home the cash value of the prize, giving him more than $157 million after state and federal withholding. His “record-setting” win occurred during the April 14 game, lottery officials said, and is $39 million more than the state’s last record-setting prize, which was sold in 2019. 

Winning that money was far from expected. When he first realized he had the winning numbers, Taylor told New York lottery officials that his wife didn’t believe him. He had to go online to prove he had the winning ticket. 

But now, all there’s left to do is celebrate and plan. Taylor recently retired from working as a building handyman in Manhattan, lottery officials said, and is planning to use his newfound earnings to travel, purchase a new home, and get a new hybrid vehicle. He also is going to donate some of the money to his local church, officials added. 

The business where Taylor purchased the winning ticket, Liberty Beer and Convenience, will also get a $10,000 bonus from the state lottery. 

“The New York Lottery congratulates Mr. Taylor on winning this historic jackpot,” New York State Gaming Commission Chairman Brian O’Dwyer said, “the sales of which brought millions of dollars to New York’s public schools and lottery retailers across the state.” 

Taylor’s win seems to be the latest string of lottery luck for New Yorkers. In January, four Mega Millions tickets worth $1 million each were sold across four areas – Long Island City, Manhattan, Newburgh and Plainview, CBS New York reported.