Man's Broken-Down Truck Leads to $136M Discovery
He thought he might die with Powerball ticket in his hand
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2015 5:38 AM CDT
Anthony Perosi, second from right, holding a copy of the winning ticket, and his son Anthony Perosi III, second from left, talk to reporters during a ceremony yesterday.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
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(Newser) – A few weeks ago, Anthony Perosi was a cash-strapped plumber with a broken-down truck. Now he's probably the richest plumber in the world—and he has the truck to thank. The 56-year-old Staten Island resident says that when his truck broke down and he needed money for repairs, he decided to check the lottery tickets he keeps in his basement and discovered the winning ticket for a $136 million Powerball jackpot from six weeks earlier, the New York Daily News reports. Perosi says that after the March 14 drawing, he heard that the winning ticket was sold at the same 7-Eleven where he buys his tickets—but he didn't bother checking his because a bartender friend told him she had heard that a teacher won it.

Perosi, who picked his numbers at random and has been playing them for years, says that when he found the winner, "I tried to breathe in and nothing would go in. I thought I was having a heart attack and my heart stopped. So I grabbed the ticket, figuring they would find it in my hand." He's splitting the winnings 70-30 with his son, which works out to $38,612,055 for him after taxes and $16,548,023 for his son, reports the New York Times. He can now afford a lot more than truck repairs, but his plans are pretty down-to-earth, the Daily News reports. He plans to keep working, though not as much, and to travel—to upstate New York. (If he had found the ticket after the six-month expiry date, the cash would have become part of the estimated $2 billion a year in unclaimed lottery winnings.)