Shane Missler is getting a lot of advice these days.
“Shut down your Facebook!” advises one friend.
“Get a priest, lawyers, financial advisers,” insists another.
Why all this fuss over a 20-year-old former Maine man now living in Port Richey, Florida?
Missler won the lottery, that’s why. And he won it big: $450 million big.
The former Spruce Mountain High School athlete found out Thursday that he had won the jackpot. Once the shock wore off, he took to social media to let his friends and family know that he was now a millionaire.
“Oh. My. God,” he wrote on Facebook.
A day later, Missler went to Florida lottery headquarters in Tallahassee. He left with a lump-sum payment of $281,874,999.
“Although I’m young,” Missler said in a statement to the Tampa Bay Times, “I’ve had a crash course this week in financial management and I feel so fortunate to have this incredible wealth and team behind me. I intend to take care of my family, have some fun along the way and cement a path for financial success so that I can leave a legacy far into the future.”
Missler spent most of his life in Topsham and Livermore Falls. At Spruce Mountain, he played soccer and baseball before graduating in 2015 and going off to study business management. After moving to Florida, Missler went to work at a country club, at Best Buy and with a company that specializes in background screenings.
His many friends this week offered a lot of advice, but they also seemed genuinely happy for Missler, a millionaire not even old enough to buy liquor in celebration.
“Glad to see a Mainer win big!” wrote William Pratt, formerly of Lewiston, now living in Waldoboro. “Congratulations, it sounds like you are going to do great things.”
“Congratulations to a fine young man,” wrote a Florida woman.
And then it was back to financial advice from people who could only imagine what it would be like to wake up $450 million dollars richer than you were the day before. They suggested specific financial firms and offered tips on what stocks to buy and which to stay away from.
Missler was a man who had plenty of friends to begin with, and by Friday afternoon, the number of people looking to become his pal was increasing by the hour.
“Congratulations on the win,” write Michael Bass, of Winthrop, Massachusetts. “Now get ready for all the direct messages from everyone with their hand out.”
By early Friday night, it had already begun.
“Hi Shane,” wrote one woman, whose Facebook profile was empty, “if there comes a time you were looking to help a stranger 250.000 would be life changing …”
“I’m a single mom with a child with chronic Illness,” wrote another. “I am in desperate need of a decent A-to-B vehicle.”
By Friday night, a wikipage had already been set up with information about Missler and his life before the lottery win.
Lottery officials said Missler’s winning ticket was purchased Jan. 5 at a 7-Eleven in Pasco County. The winning combination: 28-30-39-59-70 and the megaball 10.
At the start of the year, a few days before he bought the winning ticket, Missler waxed philosophical about the previous year and the year to come.
“2017 was a year filled with downsides but more importantly massive self improvement,” he wrote on Jan. 1 “I am excited to see how 2018 will play out and I look forward to improving myself even more. I am still just a kid trying to find his way who encourages everyone in his path to follow their dreams, because there are truly no limits to this thing we call life. Let’s get it.”
Missler could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon.
You can hardly blame him.
Shane Missler (Facebook)
Lottery winner Shane Missler, pictured when he played soccer at Spruce Mountain High School. (Sun Journal file photo)