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New York Powerball Winner Vows To Keep Playing

New York Powerball Winner Vows To Keep Playing

The lucky New Yorker who won half of last month’s $687 million jackpot has come forward to claim his money. Robert Bailey, a retired federal government employee, had been playing the same numbers for 25 years before he won, and has no intention of stopping now that he has become a multimillionaire.

Bailey, 67, matched the numbers 8, 12, 13, 19 and 27, plus the Powerball of 4, in the eagerly-awaited drawing on Saturday October 27th. Lerynne West from Iowa collected her half last week, and now Bailey has followed suit by picking up his check for $343 million at a media ceremony.

‘Hard to Remain Calm’

Speaking at the Resorts World Casino in Queens, Bailey revealed that he bought his winning ticket from a deli in Harlem after ducking in to avoid the rain. He checked the results online later that night and could not believe his good fortune. He recalled “I said to myself, ‘These look like my numbers.’ I tried to remain calm and sat down to watch some shows I had on my DVR. I didn’t sleep the rest of the night.”

Bailey’s prize is a record for the state of New York and he has described it as a ‘good life changer’, but he enjoys playing the lottery so much that he sees no reason to quit now. “I will continue playing my numbers until this train runs out,” said Bailey, who had previously won $30,000 on the New York Take 5 game. “I’m going to ride this out; I can’t stop now.”

Under New York law, Bailey had no choice but to go through with the news conference and agree to have his identity released. He said he would have preferred to stay anonymous, and wore dark sunglasses for Wednesday’s press event.

He had waited a couple of weeks to come forward because he wanted to speak to a lawyer and financial adviser. He finally decided to take the lump sum of $198 million before taxes, rather than the annuity option.

Giving Back to Manhattan

Bailey is determined to use his money wisely and says his main priority is to take care of his loved ones. He hopes to provide for future generations of his family by setting up some investments, while he also wants to buy some land and a house for his mother.

He has plans to travel to Las Vegas and the Caribbean, while also helping out local communities where he grew up. “I plan to give back to Manhattan; that’s where I’m from. I still want to be me. I can’t let money change me. I’m going to keep doing the right thing.” 

The $687 million jackpot was the third-largest ever seen on Powerball, but the top prize has already started to grow quickly again and is back up to $124 million following a rollover in the latest drawing on Wednesday. Visit the Numbers page to see the latest results.

Page Last Updated: 11/15/2018 5:15:02 AM ET