It's a good thing Aubrey Boyce got a lot of practice lugging around big sacks of cash for the MTA. But it'll be a lot more fun doing it with his own money.
As winner of the second biggest Mega Millions prize in city history, Boyce is heading for early retirement. No longer will he have to haul around other people's money. No longer will he have to dream about one day leaving his one bedroom apartment in Queens and moving into more spacious digs with his wife.
For the quiet Boyce, who won a $133 million jackpot off his $2 ticket at the Shiv Convenience Store in Jamaica, life is about to get a whole lot richer. And he can thank the bodega's computers for choosing the winning numbers for him.
Donned in a button-down shirt, khaki pants and a cool pair of sunglasses, Boyce showed up with his lawyer to receive his massive souvenir check at a mandatory press conference at Grand Central yesterday. He came – and left – a very happy man.
"I want to stay the same. I don't want to go crazy," Boyce said before an envious crowd. "I will probably go on a vacation somewhere warm and go deep-sea fishing. I'm going to relax first and think about it later."
Actually, maybe a new car is in the picture, too, Boyce added, "but something not too flashy – not like a Mercedes or a Rolls-Royce."
He'll have plenty of time to think about – and do – whatever he wants, retiring at the ripe age of 49. Boyce is leaving his $64,472 a year job for a much bigger paycheck – a one-time lump sum payment of $82.7 million -- $56.7 million after taxes. It's the biggest check the city has dished out since a penniless parking attendant named Juan Rodriguez, also from Queens, won $149 million five years ago, according to The New York Post.
Boyce could barely believe it when he saw the winning numbers on his ticket. And his wife didn't believe him at all.
"I was in a state of shock," he told the Post. "She thought I was making a joke. We couldn't believe I was the winner."
At his old job, Boyce was tasked with emptying cash from MetroCard vending machines in Manhattan, the Bronx and Brooklyn, his fellow subway-collection agent Chris Corulla told the Post. The sacks of money they hauled around weighed up to 50 pounds apiece and a full truckload could hold more than $115,000 in cash.
Corulla and his pal would always joke around and wonder what they'd do with all that dough.
"We'd say, 'Do you think our problems would all just disappear?' " he told the paper.
It's Boyce's turn to find out.
Corulla doesn't think his friend is going to go overboard, though. He told the Post Boyce "is a humble guy" and "this could not have happened to a better person."
No stranger to the lotto, Boyce usually spent about $12 a week on games, probably never expecting his investment to pan out. But it did – big time. Now he and his wife are planning to move out of their $145,000 apartment in a 12-story co-op in Kew Gardens and onto bigger and better things.
Boyce established a trust to distribute his winnings, as many Mega Millionaires do. He had waited three weeks to claim his cash on his attorney's suggestion to allow the hoopla over the jackpot to calm down, according to the Post.