A 67 year old retired federal employee, Robert Bailey from Harlem, New York City, USA won his share of the massive $687.8 million dollar Powerball jackpot.
Mr Bailey was introduced by lottery officials as the record-breaking winner at the Resorts World Casino in Queens, New York City. Mr Bailey, who wore dark sunglasses for the announcement, said he wished he could have kept his win quiet.
Lucky Robert shared the Powerball top prize with 51 year old grandmother of six, Lerynne West who comes from Dexter, Iowa, USA. His win amounted to a very nice $343.9 million dollars, the largest ever in New York.
Robert said “A family member gave me the numbers over 25 years ago and I faithfully play them. I buy my tickets at three or four different stores. It was raining that day so I went to the deli just across the road from my apartment to get out of the rain and I bought my ticket there.”
The most he had ever won using the family numbers previously was $30,000 dollars from a lucky Take Five lottery ticket.
He says he will continue to use those numbers “Until this train runs out.” He even bought more tickets on his way to the press conference.
The deli he mentions is the West Harlem Deli Corp that he frequents from time to time. This time, they sold him his winning ticket on the 27th October and he decided to take the lump sum payment that amounted to just over $125 million dollars after tax.
He didn’t claim his winnings straight away as he wanted to get hold of a lawyer and a financial advisor beforehand just so he could get all his ducks in a row first.
“I’m gonna get a house, especially for my mother. God bless her, she’s still around. I definitely want to travel a little bit and hopefully I make some good investments that will work for me and my family,” he said.
Robert is also planning to travel Las Vegas and to the Bahamas to avoid the cold New York winter.
Mr Bailey had been watching a college football game and didn’t check the results until 11:30pm that night. He discovered he was a multi-millionaire when his numbers, 08-12-13-19-27 plus the Powerball had matched the numbers drawn.
“I tried to remain calm and sat down to watch some shows I had on my DVR, I didn’t sleep the rest of the night,” he said.
He didn’t let his children know at first as he wanted to discuss arrangements with the lawyer and financial planner as to how he could do the right thing and organise his winnings for the next generation of his family.
He said he felt totally blessed and that his Powerball jackpot win is a good life changer.
Ultimately though, he'd like to give something back. "I plan to give back to Manhattan. That's where I'm from" said Robert.
This is the second Powerball jackpot won in New York City this year. The previous most recent win came in September when a Staten Island man won the $245.6million dollar jackpot.
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