Verified: Tennessee man won third of $1.6B Powerball lottery

NASHVILLE -- Lottery officials verified Friday that a longtime resident of the small town of Munford, Tennessee, bought one of three tickets winning the world-record $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot.

See Full Article

Tennessee Lottery executive Rebecca Hargrove made the big announcement.

John Robinson of Munford, a town of 6,000 north of Memphis, said he quickly reached out to his brother and others to assemble a team of lawyers and financial planners.

What could one person possibly do with all that money?

Robinson said earlier in an appearance on NBC's "Today" show that he and his wife, Lisa, want to help out certain friends, give to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, and donate to their church.

"I'm a firm believer in tithing to my church," Robinson said.

Their daughter Tiffany, who flew with them to New York and back, is looking forward to paying off her student loans. She also wants a horse.

"My first thought was, I've always wanted a horse," she said. "I get a horse now. My dad always said, "When I win the lottery.'"

The three jackpot winners can leave their winnings to be invested and thereby collect 30 annual payments totalling an estimated $533 million, or take their third of $983.5 million in cash all at once.

Robinson said he would take the lump sum.

Robinson carried the precious slip of paper to New York City and back before delivering the ticket Friday to lottery officials in Nashville.

"Now I'll be nervous because everybody knows," John Robinson told his interviewers on the "Today" show set, where he appeared with his wife, daughter and lawyer. He even brought the family dog to New York and back, walking the pet on a leash into lottery headquarters in Nashville later Friday.

The other tickets were sold in Melbourne Beach, Florida, and Chino Hills, California, each one overcoming odds of 1 in 292.2 million to land on all the numbers.

Lottery officials in those states have yet to confirm or identify the winners. News of a possible winner in California was quickly deflated Friday when that feel-good tale was described as a prank.

The Robinsons said their lawyer advised them appear on national TV even before presenting the ticket to lottery officials, as a way to "control" the story.

Lawyers who have represented other lottery winners advise against going public until they are ready to manage such a huge windfall. Talking seriously with experts in tax law, financial planning, privacy, security and other safeguards can help keep them, and their winnings, safe, they say.

The Robinsons seemed aware of at least some of the risks, even as they flew to New York to tell the world that their future income has suddenly grown to more than half a billion dollars.

Robinson did say that he had signed the back of the ticket, showing his ownership of it.

"It's not going very far," John Robinson said on NBC, holding tight to the slip of paper.

Even the "Today" show anchors said they were nervous for the Robinsons walking around New York with the ticket.

Their neighbour Mary Sue Smith, told The AP that Lisa Robinson asked her Friday morning to put "No Trespassing" signs on their lawn while they're away from their small one-story house in Munford, a town of about 6,000 where many residents work in Memphis, about 25 miles to the south.

"Who will be coming out of the woodwork?" said Mary Sue Smith. "Everybody you knew in high school and elementary ... You know what happens."

John Robinson works in information technology and his wife is employed at a dermatologist's office. Their son, Adam, is an electrician, and their daughter, Tiffany, who lives nearby, is a recent college graduate. They also have a second home nearby where Robinson "loves to fish," said Roy Smith, who described them as "fine people," dependable and hard-working.

"It could not have happened to better people," Roy Smith said. "He's a civic-minded person, and he probably will remember the town."

Munford's mayor, Dwayne Cole, had wished openly Thursday for an investment in the town, whose annual budget is $3.67 million. He said Munford's needs include fire department equipment, an indoor athletic facility for local schools and a community gymnasium.

After learning that the Robinsons won the prize, Cole told the AP on Friday that they are not the kind to squander their money.

"They're small town people who appreciate community, appreciate family values. They appreciate hard work. They are responsible. They've always lived within their means," said Cole, who owns an auto parts store in town.

"They have to understand, though, this is a big deal. This is not just a big deal for Munford. This is a big deal nationwide and worldwide. They understand that, I think. I hope they do," Cole added. "I believe they can deal with it. It may be totally overwhelming."

Robinson said he bought the winning ticket at his wife's request at the family-owned Naifeh's grocery on his way home from work, even though he wasn't feeling well. He bought four quick-pick tickets, one for each family member, then gave them to his wife and went to lie down when he got home. She stayed up to watch the Wednesday night drawing, carefully writing down the numbers.

After triple-checking the ticket, she started "hollering and screaming through the hallway saying, 'You need to check these numbers. You need to check these numbers,"' John Robinson said.

He did, four times, then thought: "Well, I'll believe it when the news comes in on the morning and they say there's a winner been in Munford."



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Myanmar soldiers jailed for killing civilians in rare trial

    World News CTV News
    BANGKOK -- A Myanmar military tribunal has sentenced six soldiers to 10 years in prison with hard labour for killing three civilians in war-torn Kachin state, officials said Saturday, in a move welcomed by rights groups. Source
  • Magnitude 6.3 earthquake shakes northern Chile

    World News CTV News
    SANTIAGO, Chile - The U.S. Geological Survey says a magnitude 6.3 earthquake has struck northern Chile. The quake, which was deep at 110 kilometres (68 miles), struck at 10:06 p.m. local time Saturday. The epicenter in Tarapaca was 76 kilometres (47 miles) east of the city of Putre, and 118 kilometres (73 miles) southeast of the Peruvian city of Tacna. Source
  • Speed Skating Canada investigating 'substantive' complaints against head coach

    Canada News CBC News
    The head of Speed Skating Canada tells CBC News the organization is investigating "substantive" complaints against its head coach, Michael Crowe. CEO Susan Auch says the organization forced Crowe to leave his position on Jan. 9, just a month before the Winter Olympics after a number of athletes and coaches came forward. Source
  • Haz-mat investigators descend on 3rd Toronto property tied to accused killer Bruce McArthur

    Canada News CBC News
    A haz-mat team descended Saturday on a third Toronto property associated with Bruce McArthur, the accused killer of two men who vanished from the Gay Village last spring. Resident Stephen Haskett said he first noticed police in the neighbourhood Thursday, but didn't realize at the time why they were there. Source
  • Forensic investigators descend on 3rd Toronto property tied to accused killer Bruce McArthur

    Canada News CBC News
    A haz-mat team descended Saturday on a third Toronto property associated with Bruce McArthur, the accused killer of two men who vanished from the Gay Village last spring. Resident Stephen Haskett said he first noticed police in the neighbourhood Thursday, but didn't realize at the time why they were there. Source
  • Blaze at firecracker factory outside New Delhi kills at least 17

    World News CTV News
    NEW DELHI -- A massive fire broke out at a firecracker factory on the northern outskirts of the Indian capital on Saturday, killing at least 17 workers, a fire official said. A dozen fire engines took three hours to douse the fire in the Bawana industrial area of New Delhi. Source
  • B.C. school trustee vows to stay following controversial LGBTQ remarks

    Canada News CTV News
    CHILLIWACK, B.C. -- A school board trustee in British Columbia is vowing to stay in his job, despite calls that he resign over controversial remarks he made about LGBTQ issues. Barry Neufeld says in a statement that he "must" remain on the Chilliwack Board of Education to protect "impressionable children. Source
  • Tens of thousands stage anti-corruption protest in Romania

    World News CTV News
    BUCHAREST, Romania -- Tens of thousands of Romanians on Saturday protested against legislation passed by Parliament which critics say will make it harder to prosecute crime and high-level corruption. Protesters briefly scuffled with riot police as they massed in Bucharest's University Square. Source
  • Shutdown challenges Trump's brand as notorious dealmaker

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- He wrote a book on the art of negotiation and was elected to office claiming he alone could end Washington gridlock, but U.S. President Donald Trump's latest attempt to broker a big, bipartisan deal has turned into a big mess. Source
  • Manitoba woman charged after man stabbed, house lit on fire

    Canada News CTV News
    A Manitoba woman is facing multiple charges after allegedly stabbing a man and setting his house on fire. RCMP said the incident happened Friday in Lynn Lake, a remote community more than 1,000 kilometres north of Winnipeg. Source