Published: Thu, November 15, 2018
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Retired government worker revealed as US$343M Powerball victor

Retired government worker revealed as US$343M Powerball victor

A New York City man won $343.9 million last month, the largest prize in New York Lottery history, after playing the same numbers - in the same order - for the last 25 years.

The Harlem native said he's been playing the same numbers for years and he bought two tickets from the West Harlem Deli on Fifth Ave.at 126th St. on a whim.

Bailey, 67, was introduced by lottery officials Wednesday as the record-breaking victor at the Resorts World Casino in Queens.

"A family member gave me the numbers over 25 years ago and I faithfully play them", Bailey said.

Those numbers proved to be priceless, so to speak.

Rather than receiving the October 27 jackpot over 29 years, Robert Bailey opted to take the lump sum of $198.1 million, which is roughly $125 million after taxes, the New York State lottery announced.

"I was watching regular college football", he recalled. "I'm still somewhat in shock. I'm going to keep doing the right thing".


Bailey, who has kids and isn't married, didn't call anyone after realizing he'd won, he said. "I didn't sleep the rest of the night", he said. "I noticed I was one of two winners, the other was in Iowa".

During the press conference, Bailey revealed that he plans to continue playing the lottery, and that he played Wednesday morning.

"Get a house, especially for my mother, God bless her, she's still around, with a little land around it", said Bailey.

After correcting the date, she said, "It was red, red, red, red, red, red, jackpot, and I thought I've done something wrong again". "I haven't decided yet". He also wants to use the money for the greater good.

Bailey didn't just jump out and claim his prize, though. "That's why I went to a lawyer and a financial adviser first and sat down with them and talked business". He plans to take the cash annuity option.

"I want to do the right thing and take care of the next generation in my family", he said.

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