LOTTO WINNER DOWN TO EARTH; YOUNG HESPERIA MILLIONAIRE SETTLES DOWN, STARTS BUSINESS.
The three years since he became California's youngest lottery winner have been a wonderful experience with few disappointments, Terry Dill says.
Two days after his 18th birthday, on Nov. 10, 1994, the Boron High School senior picked up four Quick Pick Super Lotto tickets at the Frosted Mug Restaurant in his hometown.
One paid off $3.76 million.
That's $188,000 a year for 20 years - about $136,000 a year after taxes.
The money went to work right away: It paid off the truck he'd bought the previous week, his parent's Boron home, and their car. He bought some water scooters and a motorcycle.
After his high school graduation the next spring, he bought a home in Hesperia and went off to Victor Valley College to play football and eventually become a veterinarian.
College classes and football were short-lived.
Dill quit college and two years ago started Dill Products, which manufactures plumbing products, with his brother. Six months ago he started Victory Labs, which sells preventive medicine and body building-type supplements.
``I wasn't ready for school,'' he admits. ``So I started a couple of businesses. . . . I needed to make a business other than the lottery.''
Family life quickly followed as well.
He married his high school sweetheart 18 months ago, and they are expecting their first child in two months.
Besides his 2,900-square-foot home in Hesperia, he bought land in Boron, a single-engine Cessna 120 plane, and a $30,000 GMC pickup truck.
``I can't complain one bit - I love the lifestyle I have,'' he said. ``I have a wonderful wife, a baby on the way, and a wonderful dog.''
His time has been spent getting his pilot's license, taking some martial arts classes and doing a lot of weightlifting.
``Most of my time,'' he says, ``is spent adding to or remodeling my house - trying to make it the perfect home.''
Despite the plane, house and new truck, he says he spends less than a third of his annual lottery earnings. The rest goes into annuities.
By the time his last lottery check arrives at age 38, he plans to be able to live off the interest alone from his annuities. That should triple his current annual spending allowance, he figures.
He's been on ``Good Morning America'' and talked with Oprah Winfrey, Sally Jesse Raphael and Tammy Faye, and gave permission for his name to be used in a state lottery commercial.
The commercial showed a pickup truck driving down a desert road as the driver, whose face is shielded from viewers, gives a wave. The driver's face is shielded for good reason: Dill wasn't in the commercial. The man in the truck was an actor.
Sometimes a millionaire too young to buy a beer isn't taken seriously, like a year ago when he got laughed out of a GMC dealership while trying to buy a $30,000 truck.
Teasing him, the salespeople told him, ``Oh, Mr. Dill, we'll have this for you tomorrow morning,'' then told him to stop wasting their time and ripped up his purchase order.
Hopping mad, Dill went to another GMC dealer, ordered his truck and made sure the salespeople at the first dealership got a phone call letting them know they lost a big customer - a millionaire lottery winner.
What is the difficult part of winning the lottery?
``Getting paid once a year and trying to budget - it's really tough,'' he said.
Right after he gets his annual check, he'll see something and think he absolutely has to have it, he said.
``At the end of the year when I'm really sweating it, I think I shouldn't have bought that,'' Dill said.
Dill said he's trying to settle down now with a baby on the way.
``I don't need so many things now,'' he said.
His wife, Devon, who dated him before he won, says, ``He's still weird - still the same guy.''
Dill rarely buys a lottery ticket these days - only if he is with his dad, who still buys them faithfully twice a week.
``I never think about that (buying one),'' he said. ``I still think I'll never win - forgetting that I ever won.''
PHOTO (1--color) It's a wonderful life for lotto millionaire Terry Dill and his wife, Devon, his high school sweetheart, who are expecting their first child.
(2--color) Terry Dill of Hesperia visits the K and L Corral restaurant, where he worked in 1994 before winning $3.76 million in the state lottery.
Shaun Dyer/Special to the Daily News
logan of Boron (Member):  12/11/2011 7:45 PM
Update on Terry Dill. He blew all his money, while cheating on his wife with young girls, and he now complains that he can't get a job at Borax due to his unlikeable personality. He stoped weightlifting, and now has a huge gut like his father. He also tried to become a police offficer, but could not pass the physical training. All in all, Terry Dill has failed himself and his family. (clapping of hands) WAY TO GO!!! #ttl=Terry Dill - Blew it&comm=Update on Terry Dill. He blew all his money, while cheating on his wife with young girls, and he now complains that he can't get a job at Borax due to his unlikeable personality. He stoped weightlifting, and now has a huge gut like his father. He also tried to become a police offficer, but could not pass the physical training. All in all, Terry Dill has failed himself and his family. (clapping of hands) WAY TO GO!!!
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|Publication:||Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)|
|Date:||Oct 7, 1997|
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