Columbia, S.C. The Gaston, S.C., 19-year-old who won a $35.3 million Powerball jackpot is looking to hire a bodyguard after friends alerted him to possible threats.
"I've been getting a lot of warnings from friends I trust that the word is going around people are plotting on you," said Jonathan Vargas, who is the youngest person and only South Carolinian to claim the S.C. Education Lottery Powerball Jackpot.
Vargas, a construction worker, is going to take a lump sum of $17 million. He said he is considering making an appearance on the "Dr. Phil Show" after being contacted by one of the outspoken talk show host's executive producers.
He is weary about the attention he has received over his instant millionaire status.
"I don't want too much exposure in my neighborhood," he said Wednesday.
The Airport High School graduate purchased his first lottery ticket Saturday at a Cayce Raceway station, and realized he was the big winner after watching an 11 p.m. TV newscast.
He chose the six winning numbers using the upcoming birthdays and ages of his four siblings, his mother's age and a lucky "guess" - 12, 14, 15, 21, 43 and 30.
Vargas said Monday he wants to invest most of the money, buy a new house for his family and set up trust funds for his sister and three brothers.