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Sussex County Mega Millions Winner Buys Shuttered Florida Beach Resort

Richard Wahl of Vernon won the $533 million NJ Lottery ticket from the March 30, 2018 drawing.
Richard Wahl of Vernon won the $533 million NJ Lottery ticket from the March 30, 2018 drawing. Photo Credit: La Playa Resort Daytona Beach (Facebook)/NJ Lottery

A former Vernon man who won $533 million playing the Mega Millions bought a shuttered 239-room Daytona Beach resort.

Richard Wahl, who moved to Sarasota, FL after his big April 2018 win, purchased La Playa Resort & Suites at an April auction this year for $13.6 million, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal reported.

The resort opened in 1975 and was sold in 2016 to Summit Hospitality for $9 million in 2016. Months later, the 9-story property was severely damaged in Hurricane Matthew. It's been closed ever since, the New York Post reports.

Tim Davis, a realtor with SVN Alliance Commercial Real Estate Advisors, estimated it would cost $24 million to renovate the seaside resort -- which is cheaper than tearing it down and building a new one.

"I don’t know how much due diligence he has done," Davis said. "It will be interesting to see how feasible it is."

Wahl, 49, purchased his lucky ticket at a Lukoil in Riverdale after hearing a coworker tell him how he always passed the Mega Millions sign but never bought a ticket for himself.

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