NEW YORK: A Tennessee couple claimed Friday (Saturday in Manila) to have one of three winning tickets for a world record $1.6 billion lottery jackpot, recounting the extraordinary moment their numbers rolled in, as mystery swirls over the other lucky players.
John and Lisa Robinson flew to New York to appear on national television Friday to admit they were a little scared by their incredible luck, which has yet to be verified by lottery officials.
John Robinson bought four Powerball tickets on his way home at his wife’s request just a few hours before Wednesday’s live television draw, before heading to bed because he was not feeling well. He left wife Lisa to watch the drawing.
Only after checking the numbers three times did she alert her husband about their potential windfall—$528.8 million before taxes if they accept annual payments for 29 years, or $337 million if they opt for a one-off lump sum.
“The third time I went running down the hallway, ‘John, John, you’ve got to check these numbers!’” she told NBC’s “Today” show.
The chances of winning were 1 in 292.2 million.
He checked the ticket four times, but even then couldn’t quite believe it, so the couple decided to stay up waiting for the news to come on in the morning and confirm there had been a winner in their small town of Munford.
“We were up all night,’’ Lisa said. “We didn’t get any sleep.”
The couple’s potential winning ticket has not yet been verified by Tennessee officials, although the lottery did announce that one of the three winning tickets was purchased in Munford.