John and Lisa Robinson are one of the three winners of Wednesday’s $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot.
The Munford couple, along with their daughter Tiffany and dog Abby, went to the Tennessee Lottery headquarters to verify the ticket and then held a press conference.
"I was running down the hallway screaming and crying," Lisa Robinson said.
Lisa took the ticket to her husband, who she woke up to check the numbers after the Powerball drawing Wednesday night. The family was in New York City Friday morning on network television, and then they went to Nashville to verify their ticket.
The family told FOX13 reality struck when the ticket was verified Friday.
"We knew in our heart it was the right number, but to hear them actually come out and say yes is overwhelming," Lisa said.
Lisa and John wanted to tell their daughter in person. John said he pretended to be ill, so that Tiffany would come over with medicine.
“I told her that I wasn’t feeling good and that I needed some Advil to get her to come over,” John Robinson said. “She got someone else to bring it.”
The family drove to their daughter's home to tell her the news.
"I said, 'Tiffany, we got the winning numbers,' John said. "She said, 'no.' She didn't believe me at first."
John said his next call was to his brother who does investments. From there he got an accountant and a lawyer, and the rest is history. The family said they bought the ticket at 6:56 Wednesday night, just hours before the drawing. They only play the Powerball when the jackpot gets high. This week's Powerball was a record-breaking jackpot.
After splitting the jackpot with two other winning families, and subtracting taxes, the family will collect a lump sum of nearly $328 million. They chose the lump sum over the annuity.
“We’re going to take the lump sum because we’re not guaranteed tomorrow,” John said.
As for what they plan to do with the money, they say they hope to continue living a quiet life in Munford. The Robinsons don't dream of a lavish home or luxuries. John and Lisa say they want to pay off the mortgage on their current home, and Lisa became emotional as the couple expressed the relief of being able to pay off their daughter's student loans.
"When we bought the tickets, our first priority was to pay her student loans," John said. "We just wanted a small piece of the pie. These big, fancy houses are nice, but you gotta clean them."
Wednesday was a lucky night for Western Tennessee Powerball players, according to state lottery officials.
"We had a $2 million winner in Dyersburg, and a $100 thousand winner in Memphis," Rebecca Paul Hargrove said. "It was west Tennessee's turn in this particular drawing."
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