A family of four from Munford, Tennessee, claimed Friday morning on the “Today Show” that they had secured one of three winning Powerball lottery tickets for the $1.5 billion jackpot.
The other two tickets were purchased in Chino Hills, California, and Melbourne Beach, Florida.
The Robinson family made the announcement on the Today Show Friday before confirming the tickets with Tennessee lottery officials, but NBC conducted an independent verification to prove the match.
John Robinson told Today Show hosts that he was on his way home from work Wednesday night when his wife, Lisa, called to ask if he was going to buy lottery tickets.
“I really didn’t feel like stopping that night, but I was like, ‘Yeah, I’ll stop,’” John said.
At 6:56 p.m., he bought four tickets as he always does — one for each member of his family — at Naifeh’s Food Market, located around the corner from their home. The numbers were computer-generated, he said.
He said he wasn’t feeling well when he arrived at home.
“I handed the tickets to her and said, ‘I’m going to lay down,’” John recalled.
Lisa said she had written the numbers down to easily keep track when they were announced. When she realized there was a match, she checked three more times before alerting her husband.
“I went running down the hall. ‘John! John! You gotta check these numbers!” she said.
Tennessee lottery rules mandate that for winnings above $600, the person who purchased the ticket must show up in person at the to the Nashville office with a valid ID to claim their prize. The family said on the Today Show that they planned to officially verify the ticket today.
Naifeh’s Food Market received a $25,000 prize for having sold the winning ticket.
John said he was “a little scared because I didn’t know exactly what to do” about the winning ticket. “I knew that I wanted to get an accountant. I knew that I wanted to get a lawyer and try to follow the procedures that they tell you to follow.”
The family was “up all night” and did not leave their house for awhile, Lisa said. John eventually drove down the street to his daughter’s house to inform her of the news. They told all immediate family members before appearing on the Today Show.
Lisa said she did not plan to quit her job at a dermatologist’s office.
“I’ll be there on Monday,” she said.
The family also expressed that they did not intend to move, as their whole family lived in Tennessee.
In fact, the only major expense the Johnsons said they planned to clear on the show had to do with student loans.
“Sallie Mae’s paid off,” Lisa said.