Tenn. Couple: We're One of the 3 Big Powerball Winners

They went on 'Today' show before confirming their ticket with lotto officials
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2016 9:13 AM CST

Three winning tickets for the $1.586 billion Powerball jackpot were announced after Wednesday night's drawing, one of them in Tennessee—and a family from the Volunteer State volunteered the info that they're the winning clan on the Today show Friday morning, per Today.com. "I was on [my] way home from work, and [my wife] had called me and said, 'Are you going to stop and get a couple lottery tickets?'" John Robinson, a maintenance distribution center worker from Munford, explained on the show. He says he didn't feel like it, but obliged anyway, buying four Quick Pick tickets at a local food mart. John wasn't feeling great that night, so he went to lie down while wife Lisa, who works in a dermatologist's office, stayed up late to watch the drawing. Fast-forward to her waking him up. "We were up all night. We didn't get [any] sleep," Lisa told Today.

As for the couple's next move, "I knew that I wanted to get an accountant ... [and] a lawyer and try to follow the procedures that they tell you to follow," says John. Among those procedures, per Tennessee law, is for the person who purchased the ticket to go to lottery offices with the ticket and an ID, Today.com notes—something the Robinsons said they'd do after the Today show. So why go on national TV first? The couple, who have a son and a daughter, say a Memphis estate and tax attorney they reached out to about their windfall thought it was a great idea. "I think the American public wants to hear from them, and even though they want to be private after this is over, they want to let the public know that they're the winners," the attorney said on the show. Tennessee lottery officials did confirm one of the winning tickets was sold at the food mart where John says he bought his tickets, per Reuters. (This had better not be another awful Powerball prank—or a heartbreaking mistake.)

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