A couple from Tennessee showed up on Friday (January 15, 2016), declaring that they have in possession one of the three winning tickets for last week's U.S. Powerball lottery, with the jackpot prize amounting to $1.58 billion.
The Powerball draw was done on Wednesday. John and Lisa Robinson, residents of Munford, Tennessee, sought the advice of their lawyer Joe Townsend, and he advised the couple to make it public via their appearance on the "Today" show on NBC News.
The winning ticket bears the numbers 4, 8, 19, 27, 34 and Powerball 10.
After their appearance on TV, the couple presented the ticket to the lottery officials of Tennessee for verification so that they can receive their share of the biggest lottery jackpot prize ever offered in North America. Three winners have been declared: one in Tennessee, one in California, and one in Florida.
Their lawyer stated, "I think the American public wants to hear from them, and even though they want to be private after this is over, they want to let the public know that they're the winners."
John Robinson told that even if he wasn't feeling well on that fateful day, on his way home from work, he purchased the ticket at his wife's request on Wednesday night, approximately three hours just before the drawing. The ticket he bought was near their home, at the Naifeh's Food Mart, located in the Memphis suburb of Munford. On Thursday, the lottery officials of Tennessee has confirmed that Naifeh's had definitely sold one of the three winning tickets.
The couple said that they were extremely excited about their huge prize, but were "a little scared" when they think about their future. John said, "Now I'll be nervous because everybody knows."
Lisa stated that they do not know what to do with their winnings yet, but she and her husband agreed that they will still return to work on the following Monday (January 18, 2016). Lisa works at a dermatologist's office.
She stated, "We were up all night. We didn't get enough sleep."
The couple decided that they'll be taking the lump-sum, "Because we're not guaranteed tomorrow." Though they were given a huge $528.8 million check, the couple will be able to get around $327 million in total. They will receive a few million dollars immediately, and around 10 days after that, they will be given the rest of their prize.
The couple showed up with their daughter Tiffany and their dog named Abby at a press conference held at the Lottery Tennessee headquarters on Friday afternoon. They requested the public to give them privacy, saying they are "common folk from a small town."
They stated that one of their priorities is to settle their daughter's student loans, a home loan and many other bills. They also plan to have a special celebration with other family members.
It is written under the state's lottery policy that winners in Tennessee cannot stay anonymous. It is a matter of public record that the lottery winners in Tennessee must be declared publicly in terms of their name, home state and hometown.
It's also a great win for the Naifeh grocery store, as it will receive a prize of $25,000 for simply selling that winning ticket!
The holders of the winning tickets sold in California and Florida have not yet showed up as of now.
As stated on the rules of lottery, a winner is given a duration of up to one year in order to present the ticket and claim their prize. According to the Powerball website, all of the three states have laws saying that the names of the winners must be released to the public.