Rick Knudsen, who won $180 million in California’s Mega Millions lottery, is selling his luxurious mountain estate for $26 million.
In 2014, the former construction executive bought a $5 lottery ticket on his way home from the gym and ended up getting lucky — not long after cashing in $180 million, Knudsen, 58, quit his job and purchased his dream home. Knudsen knew exactly what he wanted because, everyday, he would see the Oak Glen mansion being built just north of his home in Southern California’s Yucaipa Ridge, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The 40288 Pine Bench house, which Knudsen bought uncompleted for $5.5 million, had a 50-acre plot of land with a movie theater and a multi-car garage. Over the next four years, Knudsen went straight to work on the house, buying more of the surrounding land to build a true estate.
In total, Knudsen added a 155-acre buffalo ranch, a 640-acre stretch of land as well as a nearby steakhouse and Wild West saloon.
“It was just bam, bam bam. Within three months I owned it all,” Knudsen told the WSJ. Now seeking $26 million, Knudsen says he spent $11.5 million on expansions to the estate. After winning the lottery, Knudsen also hired a financial consultant so that he would make real estate decisions that’d help his fortune grow.
The entire plot of land now stretches for over 845 acres and has views from the Little San Gorgonio to Mount San Jacinto peaks, as well as the Salton Sea and Catalina Island. Compass’ Craig Strong is the listing agent in charge of this property.
The original house is also not too shabby. It sits at a 9,000-foot elevation and is designed in a mountain resort style – wood, fireplaces, wine cellar, deer antlers and all. The private movie theater seats 17 people and an elevator is used to transport people between the home’s three floors.
Knudsen hopes that the buyer will appreciate the home’s use as a mountain getaway — while walking on the area’s hiking trails, Knudsen has spotted deer and mountain lions. The estate also comes with 45 buffaloes, which are grass-fed until maturity and then served as steaks at the steakhouse.
Knudsen, who originally came from Hawaii but spent a long time living in California, has no plans to leave Oak Glen. He did not buy any other homes in other parts of the country – instead, he purchased homes for each of his five kids.
But after putting finishing touches on his own mountain estate about six months ago, Knudsen started growing bored and ready to move on to a new project. Because one of his children has health problems that prevent him from living in the mountains, Knudsen listed the property and is planning to build another mountain resort somewhere closer to the ground.