A Mega Millions lottery winner is selling the California home he bought and expanded with his massive win at a $19 million price cut.

Rick Knudsen, who won the $180 million Mega Millions jackpot in 2014, put up his extravagant mountain resort for auction with a $6.9 million starting price, Business Insider first reported. Knudsen had originally tried to sell the house the traditional way by listing it for $26 million in January — just over $19 million less than the current starting price.

Back in 2014, the former construction executive bought a $5 lottery ticket on his way home from the gym and ended up winning the full jackpot. Not long after cashing in $180 million, Knudsen, 59, quit his job and purchased his dream home, a property that he could see being built from his old house north of Southern California’s Yucaipa Ridge.


The 40288 Pine Bench Road estate, which Knudsen bought uncompleted for $5.5 million and expanded over the past five years, sits at a 9,000-foot elevation and has views of mountain peaks as well as the Salton Sea and Catalina Island. After buying the home, Knuden undertook a massive building project and added a 155-acre buffalo ranch, a 640-acre stretch of land as well as a nearby steakhouse and Wild West saloon.

The property itself is designed in a mountain resort style with wood, fireplaces, wine cellar and deer antlers.

Even after the win, Knudsen said that he had no plans to buy real estate in other parts of the country — instead he bought houses for each of his five kids. After several years of working on the property, Knudsen grew bored and decided to move on to something else. One of his children has health problems that prevent him from living in the mountains and, as a result, Knudsen decided to sell the property and start a new building project someplace closer to the sea.

The auction, organized by Heritage Auctions, is a way to speed the sale along after more than six months on the market, Compass agent Craig Strong told Business Insider.

Auctions are a popular way to sell high-end properties that sit without a buyer. Just last week, a Frank Lloyd Wright property in Missouri sold at auction for $920,000.

Email Veronika Bondarenko

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