SAN BERNARDINO ( — The winner of a Mega Millions jackpot worth $120 million says college is now in the future of each of his four children, who range from toddler to high school age.

Ronald Willis came forward Friday to claim his winnings at the California Lottery’s Inland Empire District Office in San Bernardino.

Willis says he found out that the winning ticket had been sold in Riverside from his co-workers, so when he got home, he got on his iPad and discovered that the winning numbers matched the ticket in his hand.

“I’m not a yeller or a jump-around type of guy. When I realized I won, I just stayed calm, sat back and let it soak all in,” Willis told California Lottery officials.

The winning ticket was sold at the 7-Eleven at 3740 Iowa Avenue in Riverside. The day Willis bought his winning ticket was the first time he had visited the store, which will receive a bonus of $600,000.

Willis — a Rialto resident — says he decided to stop at that particular retailer just because he was picking up his paycheck and it happened to be close to work and he didn’t think he would make it to Rialto in time to buy his ticket before the drawing’s close.

The winning ticket numbers were 20, 5, 33, 36 and 11, with a Mega number of 11. Willis says his winning ticket numbers were not a Quick Pick, but his own selections that he has been playing since California began participating in Mega Millions in 2005.

He told Greg Mills, reporting for CBS2 and KCAL9, his winning formula was a simple one. To enumerate, 5-11 is his birthday, 20 is his fiance’s birthday, 33 and 36 the numbers he wore playing football for Washington High in Los Angeles. The mega number of 11? Again, for his birthday.

California’s newest millionaire provided scant details about his life. But he said he was born in Louisiana, raised in Los Angeles and his fiance’s name is Yolanda Magnum.

And yes, he laughs, they were engaged prior to his purchasing the ticket.

Willis’ plans for the money include the aforementioned college educations for his children and a range of investments.

He chose the lump sum payment and will receive about $70 million in October.


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