Shane Missler: The 20-Year-Old Who Won a $451 Million Jackpot
What would you do if you were just 20 years old and won the fourth-largest jackpot in Mega Millions history? That’s what Shane Missler had to figure out when he was the sole winner of an astounding $451 million prize in January 2018. In this article, we’ll tell you all about the lucky winner and the incredible draw that changed his life forever.
Who is Shane Missler?
Shane Missler beat odds of 302,575,350 to 1 to win $451 million. Originally from Maine, Missler moved to Port Richey, Florida, at a young age. Missler graduated from high school in 2015—just three years before winning big in the lottery—and moved to Massachusetts to work on a business management degree at Northern Essex Community College.
Throughout his young life—and before becoming the richest lottery winner under the age of 21—Missler worked many odd jobs. He held down work at Sam’s Club, Best Buy, and the Atkinson Resort and Country Club. Shane was working as a verification specialist at a company called Universal Background Screening, which specializes in employee background checks, at the time of the Mega Millions draw.
Shane purchased his winning ticket at a 7-Eleven in Pasco County, Florida. He bought five tickets on the day of the draw, reportedly using money he had won from a scratch-off lotto card. As you might imagine, he quit his job shortly after winning the jackpot.
What Did Shane Missler Do with His Prize?
Shane Missler announced his intention to take the lump-sum payment option through a statement from his lawyer. His take-home winnings were $281,874,999—a utterly life-changing amount many times over. Within hours of the draw, Missler published an excited post on his Facebook page, stating simply, “Oh. My. God.” It wasn’t until the following morning that Shane broke the news to his father over a cup of coffee.
Unlike many young winners that make headlines for their luck with the lottery, Shane seemed to have a good head on his shoulders and some solid intentions for his money. He told media at the time of the win that he intended to use the money to look after his family, do some good for humanity, and create a path for long-term financial success. He also mentioned wanting to have fun along the way—and who could blame him?
Shane Missler Twitter Hoax
Of course, greedy individuals couldn’t let Shane’s name fall into the obscurity of the history books. Within a couple of weeks of the draw, a fake Twitter account pretending to be Missler sent out a pair of tweets leading users to believe that Shane would be spreading some of his good fortunes. The tweets stated that Missler would be giving away $5,000 to each of the first 50,000 people who retweeted the post.
The tweets quickly went viral and surpassed 50,000 retweets. Other users must have seen this success and decided to create more fake accounts and send out a similar message as the first. Of course, Shane was not the person behind any of these accounts and had no intention of giving away his money over social media. Compared to other scams that pretend to be lottery winners, the fake Twitter hoax was relatively harmless. It doesn’t appear that these people were trying to get anything from the users who retweeted the post other than some temporary Twitter fame.
While Missler does have real social media accounts that he actually runs, he is certainly not posting about wanting to give away money to strangers.
The Shane Missler Charity Scam
However, there is another online scam using Shane’s name that has much more malicious intentions. The Shane Missler Charity Foundation is the cover that some email scammers use to infiltrate innocent strangers’ inboxes with an email phishing scam. The lie is almost believable, as the emails repeat Missler’s real intention of wanting to help humanity—just as he was quoted telling the media. However, Missler never announced plans to start a charity organization, nor did he mention a desire to give away $1 million to random people through email, as the scammers claim in their message.
If you receive an email from The Shane Missler Charity Foundation—or from anyone else claiming to be a lottery winner or organization—do not reply. To protect yourself from scams, the only action you should take if you receive such a message is to report it to your local police or to the body that oversees frauds and scams in your country.
Shane Missler became one of the luckiest and youngest lottery winners in the world when he was the sole winner of the $451 million Mega Millions jackpot. Since coming out publicly as the winner of the prize, Missler has been relatively quiet, though he does have some public social media accounts where users can follow him to see what he’s been doing with is winnings. However, be certain that you’re following the real Shane Missler, as multiple people have tried to use his name for their own purposes.