The Robinson family were confirmed as the owners of one of the three winning entries after their ticket was verified by Tennessee lottery officials on Friday, but only after they had appeared on the Today show to break the news that they had won a slice of the largest Powerball prize in history. John, a maintenance distribution worker, acknowledged on the show that he had been reluctant to enter the draw.
“Actually, I was on my way home from work, and she had called me and said, ‘Are you going to stop and get a couple of lottery tickets?’ John recalled. “I really didn’t feel like stopping that night , but I was like ‘Yeah, I’ll stop’. I came home, and I wasn’t feeling good, and I handed the tickets to her and said, ‘I’m going to go lay down’.”
John and Lisa have decided to take the lump sum payout of around $327 million because they are ‘not guaranteed tomorrow’, but are not yet sure what they will do with their winnings. Their first priority is to pay off their daughter’s student loans, but they have no plans to move into a chateau or a larger house because ‘you gotta clean them’. However, both have decided that they will keep their jobs.
Questioned at a news conference over why they intended to carry on working, Lisa, whose job is in a dermatology office, said: “Why not?”. John added: “That’s what we’ve done all our lives. You can’t just lie down and do nothing anymore. How long are you going to last? We do want to enjoy a little bit of our earnings and maybe invest a bit of it so our son and daughter will never need anything again.”
There has still been no word about the identities of the two other jackpot winners, who bought their tickets in California and Florida, but experts have suggested that they do not follow the Robinsons’ lead when they come forward to claim their money. Jason Kurland, a New York attorney who has worked with several jackpot winners, told Yahoo News that their decision to go on TV before having their ticket verified was a ‘good example of what not to do’.
The Powerball top prize will be worth an estimated $50 million on Wednesday following a rollover on Saturday, as interest intensifies over who will be the next winner to come forward from last week’s record-breaking draw.