Mega Millions winner forced to sell his $26M mansion due to tragic family's trouble

Jaimie-lee Prince
Nov 05, 2018
01:19 P.M.

Rick Knudsen spent 23 years in the same house before buying his dream home. Now he's ready to give up for his son's health.


Four years ago, Knudsen won a mega millions lottery and hit the jackpot at $180 million. At a news conference, he revealed that he and his wife were due for an upgrade.

After 23 years, they were ready to "step it up." And so they did. "We really are very grounded people. But there's nothing wrong with being grounded in a big house," Knudsen said at the time.

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Not holding back, Knudsen purchased a 16,000 square-foot property. It came with a fully operational 155-acre buffalo ranch and farm. He also owns a 640-acre mountainous area near the house.


Knudsen opted to invest in a steakhouse and a saloon nearby as well. The Eagle Crest Mountain Estate stood 6,000 above sea level, however.

For Knudsen's son, this presented a risk to his health. Additionally, the family has enjoyed a luxurious home for long enough. They're just about ready to move on.

Kundsen's sister, Karen Pierce, told ABC 7:

"It's the time in their life that they're ready to tone things down a little bit. And his son does have a heart problem, and the 6,000 foot-level is too much pressure on him."


The estate, located in Oak Glen, Southern California, includes five bedrooms, a 17-seat theater, a fully-equipped gym, and a wine cellar according to PEOPLE.

It is now listed with Craig Strong at Pacific Union International for a total of $26 million. In total, the property covers 845 acres and comes with several high-class amenities.

Realtor Craig Strong said "It could be a celebrity, a musician, entertainer.

He described potential buyers:

"Whoever doesn't want to be bothered at all, nobody's going to bother you and you don't have to leave. You have everything you need."


So what is the multi-millionaire looking for in place of his mansion? Pierce said:

"I think he's planning to build something around 5,000 or 6,000 (square feet). Let's cut it by three maybe."

Back in 2014, Knudsen's reaction was quite mild when he realized he had won the lottery. He recalled his daughter calling him and asking if he bought a ticket.

Someone in Calimesa, Knudsen's hometown, had apparently won. Knudsen said:

“I looked it up, saw the numbers, I scanned it with my eyes three times … I told my wife, ‘You need to check this out.’ "

Source: YouTube/ US News Today

But in Smithville, another winner cried his eyes out when he found out about his winnings.


Robert and Sandra Donaldson sat in their living room one night. Robert had just returned from a trip to China.

His wife told him that she had good news and bad news for him. The good news was he could buy a new car soon, and the bad news was they needed to see a lawyer.

Source: YouTube/ CBC Hamilton

Sandra was secretly recording her husband as she revealed to him that they had won $23.3 million. Watch the video to witness her husband's reaction.

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