Powerball Winner Has Rain to Thank for Hitting Huge Jackpot

Harlem winner comes forward to claim his half of US' fourth-largest prize
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2018 3:13 PM CST
Powerball Winner Has Rain to Thank for Hitting Huge Jackpot
Robert Bailey poses for photographers during a news conference at the Resorts World Casino New York City, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, in New York. The retired government worker won over $343 million in Powerball, the biggest jackpot in New York state lottery history.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

(Newser) – Robert Bailey has been playing the same lottery numbers for more than 25 years, and on Oct. 27, they paid off for the New York man in a big way when he became one of two winners in the US' fourth-largest jackpot. Bailey said it was rain that forced him into the West Harlem Deli to buy what turned out to be the winning Powerball ticket not long before the drawing. The 67-year-old retired federal employee's half of the jackpot was $343.9 million, the largest jackpot in New York Lottery history, and he opted for the lump sum, meaning he'll walk away with just over $125 million after taxes, CBS New York reports.

He didn't come forward to claim his winnings until Wednesday because he needed time to talk to a lawyer and financial adviser. He says he plans to buy his mom a house, travel, invest—and "continue ... playing my numbers until this train runs out." Those same numbers previously won him a $30,000 prize, the AP reports. "I plan to give back to Manhattan; that's where I'm from," Bailey added. "I still want to be me. I can't let money change me. I'm going to keep doing the right thing." (Here's what the other winner is doing with her half.)

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