Since becoming a Georgia Lottery winner in February 2006, Jesse Green said he is enjoying his newfound lifestyle.
While working as a Richmond County sheriff's investigator in February, Mr. Green, 52, scratched his way to a cool $2.5 million in a lottery game called Gold Rush.
Unlike the common reaction from those who say they would quit their jobs having landed such fortune, Mr. Green waited about three months before telling personnel at the sheriff's office he was packing his bags to leave.
Sheriff Ronnie Strength said he understood Mr. Green's decision.
"He said he wanted to find a job that was less stressful and fortunately, he was able to do it," the sheriff said. "This couldn't have happened to a nicer guy."
After leaving the sheriff's office in May, Mr. Green took some time off before landing a similar job in August with the Medical College of Georgia's Public Safety Division.
Meanwhile, more money has meant more grown-up toys for Christmas 2006.
He purchased a new Dodge pickup for himself, bought a new Saturn Vue for his wife, Shannon, and is in the process of building a new home, which will include quarters for his mother-in-law, a special-needs, elderly woman.
"My mother died three years ago, so, it's only the right thing to do," the former Marine said.
The lottery windfall also provides his wife of 26 years more time to serve as her mother's caregiver.
Shortly after the lottery win, Mrs. Green quit her job as a financial quality administrator at MCG, he said.
"She really enjoys being at home," he said.
Asked whether the lottery win is like a return of good karma for past good deeds, Mr. Green said, "Even as a police officer, I've always tried to treat everyone fairly.
"Even when I had to lock them up," he said. "So, maybe so."
Reach Timothy Cox at (706) 823-3217 or firstname.lastname@example.org.