Monday, January 22, 2018
News Roundup

Florida lottery winner’s Maine hometown overjoyed he won the big prize

Shane Missler walked down Mandalay Avenue in Clearwater Beach in March 2017 and stopped at a statue of Hulk Hogan for the perfect photo op.

With one armed flexed and the other shot straight out, he had his picture taken next to the famed wrestler while striking the Hulkster’s signature pose. Above Missler’s head, perfectly captured in the photo’s frame, were the words "Filthy Rich."

Sure, it was the name of a jewelry store, but it was also an incredible bit of foreshadowing.

Nicholas Guild, the friend Missler was with the day the photo was taken, laughs at it now. It’s as if Missler was always waiting for something great to happen, according to the high school buddy.

"He knew he was destined for it," said Guild, 21.

Missler, 20, of Port Richey, this week became the sole winner of the fourth-largest Mega Millions jackpot of all time: $451 million. He opted to take the lump-sum payment and, after taxes, his winnings came to $211,406,249.25.

Since then, Missler has been dodging the spotlight, other than releasing some prepared statements and a Facebook status thanking everyone for their well wishes.

PREVIOUS STORY: Florida man, 20, claims $450M Mega Millions jackpot

His phone is blowing up, his social media is flooded with money-hungry commenters, and the community in Maine where he grew up is stunned but overjoyed.

"He is a great kid and has a heart of gold," said former classmate Anthony York, 21.

Missler is from a small town outside Augusta, Maine, and graduated with about 140 students from Spruce Mountain High School in 2015. He played baseball and soccer and managed the school’s basketball team.

When his dad got a new job in Florida shortly after graduation, Missler came down to the Sunshine State with him.

Back in Maine, Missler is the talk of the town. Guild has had several people ask him if he’s still close with his former soccer teammate. The two last saw each other during Guild’s Clearwater vacation in March.

"He’s one of the most inspirational people I know," Guild said. "He’s told me so many times not to waste my potential."

In Florida, Missler had a job at local background screening company, which he has since happily left.

Guild said Missler is close with his father, Stephen Missler. His mother died in 2006 from cancer, Guild said, bringing the Missler brood — the couple had another son and two daughters — even closer together.

RELATED: Lottery winner minefields: Financial planning, emotions, relationships

"His dad did a lot for him," Guild said. "I know he’s going to pay him back and do something smart with the money."

In August, Missler posted on social media he couldn’t wait to win the Powerball that coming Saturday. Friends say Missler is wise beyond his age and has always been positive and certain good fortune was headed his way.

In other ways, Missler is what you’d expect a 20-year-old to be. He loves Boston sports teams, the Celtics especially. In 2016 he paid cash for his first car, a 2004 Suburu Outback.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: What to do if you win a Mega Millions jackpot

He is a huge boxing and wrestling fan. The Rocky movies are among his favorite — he once ran through the back roads of Jay, Maine, after soccer practice, behind Guild’s truck much like Sylvester Stallone’s character.

At 20, Guild said, Missler was still figuring out what career he wanted to pursue. He was dreaming of owning a piece of property with enough space for a dog — but figured it wouldn’t come until he was a bit older.

"Live the life you’ve always wanted," Guild texted his friend after he heard the news. Missler sent back, "thanks, brother."

Missler last visited his friends and family in Maine around Christmas. Guild couldn’t get off work at his convenience store job to see him.

"Gotta pay the bills," Guild said with a laugh.

We all can’t be lottery winners, after all.

Contact Sara DiNatale at Follow @sara_dinatale.

Crisco, dune buggy and a face-plant: Fired-up Philly fans take to the streets

Crisco, dune buggy and a face-plant: Fired-up Philly fans take to the streets

PHILADELPHIA — Not even a coat of Crisco on light poles across the city could keep Philadelphia Eagles fans from scaling new heights in celebrating their team’s first Super Bowl appearance in 13 years and setting up a rematch with the AFC champion N...
Updated: 7 minutes ago
Forecast: Warm weather remains, but cold front will bring rain to Tampa Bay

Forecast: Warm weather remains, but cold front will bring rain to Tampa Bay

A warm weekend across Tampa Bay will carry over into the start of the workweek, after some morning fog burns off and before a front results in clouds and increased rain chances later this afternoon.10News WTSPFeels-like temperatures around the Tampa...
Updated: 1 hour ago

The Daystarter: PolitiFact Florida analyzes prison costs; breaking down the Super Bowl matchup; free dental clinic services in high demand; Arrrrr you ready for Gasparilla?

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.• We’ll have a mild and sunny start to the week, with highs in the upper 70s, according to 10Weather WTSP. A weak cold front brings a chance of rain on Tuesday and slightly coo...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Police: 2 IEDs detonated at a Florida mall, no injuries

LAKE WALES — Police say two improvised explosive devices ignited inside a mall in central Florida on Sunday do not appear to be an act of terrorism.Lake Wales police Deputy Chief Troy Schulze tells news outlets that at 5:22 p.m., the Lake Wales Fire ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
PolitiFact Florida: Claims about prison price-gouging decry $17 soup, $18 tampons

PolitiFact Florida: Claims about prison price-gouging decry $17 soup, $18 tampons

Advocates of Florida prisoners protested outside of the Florida Department of Corrections in Tallahassee on Tuesday, demanding answers to questions of alleged price-gouging in prisons across the state.Protesters from dozens of grass roots organizatio...
Updated: 11 hours ago

Hooper: Deal with sea-level rise or prepare to be inundated

When fans again flock to Tampa’s Bayshore Boulevard for the annual Gasparilla Festival on Saturday, I hope they ask a question: Will the floats need flotation devices in 2035?Erika Spanger-Siegfried, Astrid Caldas and Kate Cell, members of the Union ...
Published: 01/22/18
Add swagger to Lightning’s loss column

Add swagger to Lightning’s loss column

CHICAGO — It didn’t take the sound of a door slamming in the visitor’s dressing room Saturday night to sense this Lightning team is frustrated.Tampa Bay believed it had worked hard against the Wild — at least, harder than it did in Thursday’s letharg...
Updated: 7 hours ago

nationResearchers work to avoid another 1918 super-flu The descriptions are haunting. Some victims felt fine in the morning and were dead by night. Faces turned blue as patients coughed up blood. Stacked bodies outnumbered coffins. A century after on...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Hillsborough diver who died in Eagle’s Nest Cave was adventurous but experienced

Davin Brannon was a pilot, a spearfisherman, an avid cave and open-water diver and an experienced all-around adventurer, said those close to him ."I guess you could say he died doing what he loved," his cousin Pam Kirven said. "But I also know he’d n...
Updated: 8 hours ago
‘Three Billboards’ sweeps female-focused SAG Awards

‘Three Billboards’ sweeps female-focused SAG Awards

LOS ANGELES — The Western-inspired revenge tale Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri swept the female-focused and led Screen Actors Guild Awards Sunday with wins for best ensemble, best actress for Frances McDormand and best supporting actor for...
Updated: 8 hours ago