- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 27, 2006

ARCADIA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Ralph Stebbins, the man who won a $208 million Mega Millions lottery jackpot in April 2005, died Dec. 23 at his home, police and a family spokesman said. He was 43.

Mr. Stebbins died of a heart attack, family spokesman Robert Kolt said.

Mr. Stebbins and his wife, Mary, elected to take a lump-sum payment of $124.7 million, less taxes. They could have chosen to spread $208 million in payments over 26 years.

The couple used part of their winnings to buy a recreational vehicle and said they planned to buy a cow, pay off bills and build a garage to house a 1963 Corvette.

Mr. Kolt said he was not aware that Mr. Stebbins had a history of heart problems or that he was feeling ill.

“He seemed healthy, and he was a very active guy,” Mr. Kolt told the Detroit Free Press. “I think everybody was surprised.”

Mr. Stebbins previously had worked for a well-digging company in Port Huron, where the couple formerly lived. Mrs. Stebbins was a $7-per-hour retail sales clerk at a general merchandise store.

Both quit their jobs after winning the jackpot and planned to help several other family members retire.

The Stebbinses purchased their winning ticket at a supermarket in Port Huron and had been buying five easy pick Mega Millions tickets a week on a regular basis.

The couple had been married for 23 years and had three children.

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