3 from California, Florida, Tennessee, win record $1.6 billion Powerball

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THREE winners from California, Florida and Tennessee won the record-high $1.58 billion Powerball lottery on Wednesday, Jan. 13.

As of press time, only the winner from Tennessee had been confirmed.

The winning numbers were 08 27 34 04 19 and Powerball 10. Wednesday’s drawing marks the first time a ticket matched all five numbers and the Powerball since the jackpot began on Nov. 7 at $40 million. The pot had been rolled over 20 times before winners emerged on Wednesday’s drawing.

Each winner will receive $528 million if they opt for annuity payments. However, if they choose to take a lump sum, they get $327 million, said Rebecca Hargrove, president and CEO of the Tennessee lottery. These figures do not include taxes to be removed.

John and Lisa Robinson from Munford, Tenn. were the first to claim their winnings since the numbers were announced Wednesday. The Robinsons opted to take the lump sum of $187.2 million after taxes.

“We’re just going to take the lump sum, because we’re not guaranteed tomorrow,” John Robinson said. “We just wanted a little big piece of the pie. Now we’re real grateful we got the big piece of the pie.”

Although the winners from California and Florida have yet to be identified, reports have confirmed that California’s winning ticket was sold at a 7-Eleven store in Chino Hills. The other lucky tickets were sold at The Publix in Melbourne Beach, Fla. and Naifeh’s Food Mart in Munford, Tenn.

The owner of the Chino Hills store received a $1 million check Thursday, Jan. 14, for selling a winning ticket, which will be shared between the store and the 7-Eleven company. The owner of The Publix received $100,000 and the owner of Naifeh’s Food Mart was given $25,000, also for selling winning tickets.

Talks of a Pomona nurse winning the jackpot were put to rest Thursday when her family told ABC News that her son had played a prank on his mother. A spokesperson for nursing home owner Shlomo Rechnitz said the 62-year-old woman was given a ticket by her boss, who purchased 18,000 tickets for his employees and residents at 80 nursing homes throughout California, according to ABC News.

Rechnitz said the prank was “despicable” and told the news agency he would pay for an all-expense paid vacation for the nurse and her family to any destination they pick.

California’s winner has 180 days from the date of the drawing to collect their winnings, or until July. The same goes for Florida’s winner, although they only have 60 days from Wednesday, Jan. 13, to collect if they opt for the lump sum.

In addition to the three jackpot winners, there were more than 26 million winners of any prize, according to USA Today. Of those, there were 72 $1 million winners – 12 of whom are from California, and eight $2 million winners.

More than 635 million tickets were sold for the drawing.

While California’s winner has yet to come forward, lottery officials cautioned the individual to prepare himself or herself for changes to come.

“Just do what you need to do to be prepared,” California Lottery spokesman Lopez said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “People are going to come to you for money, and how are you going to develop a strategy to deal with that?”

Don McNay, a Kentucky-based financial consultant specializing in assisting individuals who come into sudden money, told the Times that people who win such large amounts typically have difficulty keeping perspective.

“I hope they do smart things,” McNay told the Times. “What I tell people to do is keep your circle very, very small. Don’t be buying brand-new cars for all your friends. Don’t take a hundred people to the Super Bowl.”

For the winners that have stepped forward, the Robinsons, who went public on the “Today” show, said they plan to pay off their mortgage and their daughter’s student loans, but don’t plan on any large purchases, including a large house.

“I never wanted that in the past. I don’t want that now,” said Lisa Robinson.

“Big houses are nice,” John said, “But you also gotta clean ‘em.”

The couple added they plan to go to work on Monday.

The Powerball is played in 44 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. The odds of winning were one in 292.2 million.

If no winner was drawn on Wednesday, the Powerball jackpot would have hit $2 billion on Saturday, Jan. 16.

After Wednesday’s drawing and wins, the jackpot was reset to the minimum of $40 million.

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