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Rebecca Hargrove, second from right, president and CEO of the Tennessee Lottery, presents a ceremonial check to John Robinson, right; his wife, Lisa, second from left; and their daughter, Tiffany, left; after the Robinson's winning Powerball ticket was authenticated at the Tennessee Lottery headquarters.
Stay Humble

Couple who won €300 million on lottery have no plans to give up work or buy a new house

Their daughter wants a horse, though.

THE SMALL-TOWN TENNESSEE couple that bought one of three tickets splitting the world-record $1.6 (€1.4) billion Powerball jackpot says they don’t plan to quit their jobs or buy a new house.

Their daughter, however, wants a horse.

After appearing on national television, John Robinson and wife Lisa went to the Tennessee lottery headquarters in Nashville on Friday to have their winning ticket verified by lottery officials. The couple’s lump sum payout is about $327 (€299) million after buying the ticket for Wednesday night’s drawing at a grocery store in their west Tennessee hometown of Munford, population 6,000.

Two other winning tickets were bought in California and Florida.

At a news conference last night, the Robinsons said they won’t stop working and won’t make any wild purchases. They’ll pay off their mortgage and their daughter’s student loans, but have no desire to move from their gray, one-story house in a close-knit community into a luxurious compound somewhere.

Lisa works at a dermatologist’s office. John is a warehouse supervisor. Both plan to return to work on Monday, they said. Friends and neighbours say the Robinsons are a hard-working, responsible family with the ability to humbly deal with their new fortune.

“That’s what we’ve done all our lives, is work,” John Robinson said.

You just can’t sit down and lay down and not do nothing anymore. Because how long are you going to last? We do want to enjoy a little bit of our earnings, and maybe invest a little bit of it so our son and daughter will have it and they’ll never need anything again.

No one has produced the other winning tickets, which overcame odds of 1 in 292.2 million to land on all six numbers at a Publix supermarket in Melbourne Beach, Florida, and a 7-Eleven in Chino Hills, California.

Robinson said he reached out to his brother for help finding lawyers and financial planners before deciding to take the winnings in a single lump sum of nearly $328 million, rather than let the lottery invest the prize and pay him 30 annual installments totaling an estimated $533 (€488) million.

Why pass up on a certain income totaling more than $200 (€180) million?

“We’re going to take the lump sum, because we’re not guaranteed tomorrow,” Robinson said.

We just wanted a little piece of the pie. Now we’re real grateful we got the big piece of the pie.

The Robinsons said they have no plans to leave Munford, the town about 25 miles north of Memphis where they both went to high school.

Tennessee Lottery executive Rebecca Hargrove said the couple would get a “small cheque today for a few million,” and collect the full lump sum in about 10 business days.

Read: This group of employees thought they had won the lottery and absolutely lost it

Associated Foreign Press
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