JuJu Smith-Schuster Tried to Win Mega Millions to Keep Le'Veon Bell
The Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver was seen buying over $100 worth of Mega Millions tickets so he could use (part of?) the $1.5 billion jackpot to pay Bell.
Photo by Jared Wickerham—EPA
The Mega Millions jackpot stacked up to $1.5 billion this week, sending hordes of people trying to nab their golden ticket and Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Schuster—who is making a mere $655,000 this season—was among them.
Someone apparently did win the jackpot at a South Carolina gas station, but it wasn't JuJu. So what would he have done with his winnings, had it been him? Why, pay for his Steelers teammate and friend Le'Veon Bell to stick around, of course.
Bell, in what would be his sixth season with the Steelers, has been holding out since Pittsburgh used the franchise tag on him for the second straight year. He's skipped training camp, the preseason, and has foregone six game checks worth $855,000 each to try and leverage a huge long term contract with the Steelers or possibly force a trade to a team that would sign him to such a contract.
Reports indicated he would return to the team this week, but he has remained away. Worst case, he will almost surely return ahead of Week 10—if he doesn't, his contract will toll and he won't have been active long enough for this season to count towards free agency requirements, pushing his pay day off until after the 2019 season. If he returns before Week 10, he can become a free agent after this season.
It seems Schuster wanted to save both parties from this lingering headache, and tried to jump in and help:
Schuster was even spotted by a local Pittsburgh Steelers WTAE TV reporter buying a healthy number of them at a local gas station.
And while Schuster didn't win, according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, he actually got surprisingly close. Schuster allegedly had five of the six numbers, and won $10 off of it. Probably not quite the amount that Bell has been holding out for, though.