Categories
BLOG

munford powerball winners

Lottery officials confirm Munford couple is jackpot winner

From left, Powerball winners Tiffany Robinson and her mother Lisa Robinson, Rebecca Hargrove, Tennessee Lottery President & CEO, and Powerball winner John Robinson, hold a check during a press conference at the Tennessee Lottery office Friday, Jan. 15, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo: Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean)

John and Lisa Robinson insisted Friday they are just ordinary, small town folks.

And that they’ll stay that way come Monday.

The only difference is the Munford, Tenn. couple is the winner of a $528 million Powerball jackpot

Tennessee lottery officials announced Friday that the Robinsons won the golden ticket sold in their hometown this week.

The Robinsons, self-proclaimed “common-folks” from a small city about 30 miles north of Memphis, said they’ll opt to take the lump sum — just over $327 million.

“You never know if you’ll be here tomorrow,” John Robinson told a throng of reporters at the Tennessee Lottery headquarters in Nashville.

Working on only several hours of sleep over the past two days, the couple, along with their daughter Tiffany and their dog Abby, appeared energetic at the Friday news conference as they recounted the story of their world-record win.

John Robinson said that while on his way home from work Wednesday his wife asked him to pick up Powerball tickets. He said didn’t want to, but he did anyway. So he stopped at Naifeh’s Food Market, purchased four tickets at 6:56 p.m. and then drove home and handed them to his wife.

He said he wasn’t feeling well so he went to lie down.

When his wife saw they hit the jackpot, she said she started to cry, then ran down the hallway screaming for her husband.

“Check these numbers!” she recalled telling him after she woke him up.

John and Lisa Robinson were present at the news conference, along with their daughter Tiffany and their dog Abby to claim their jackpot winnings. (Photo: Natalie Neysa Alund / The Tennessean)

Robinson said he checked the number four times and then told his wife he’d only believe they won after hearing from state lottery officials that a winning ticket was purchased in Munford.

He’s now an admitted believer.

Regardless of the winnings, the couple said they plan to go back to work as usual on Monday.

“You can’t just sit down and do nothing anymore,” John Robinson said. “How long ya gonna last?”

The Robinsons said one of their priorities is to pay their daughter’s student loans off and several other bills. The would also like to splurge on family members too.

They family has asked for people to respect their privacy, admitting they are “common folk from a small town.”

Rebecca Hargrove, CEO of the Tennessee Lottery, said officials planned to hand over a few million dollars to the couple Friday. A check for the lump sum will come about 10 days later, she said.

Lotto spokeswoman: They’ll get a couple million today. Check will be about 10 business days away before lotto peeps can get it to them.

Powerball winners John and Lisa Robinson speak during a press conference at the Tennessee Lottery office Friday, Jan. 15, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo: Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean)

Both hubby and wife plan to go back to work Monday. Mr. Robinson: “You just can sit down and do nothing anymore. How long ya gonna last?”

Mr. Robinson said the family is going to take the lump sum – just over $327 million. #Powerball#Munford

#Powerball winners? Munford, TN woman just called co-worker to say she won’t be in this morning! pic.twitter.com/3VZQqOmyPD

On Wednesday night state lottery officials announced Naifeh’s sold Tennessee’s jackpot winning ticket, netting the grocery store a $25,000 prize as part of the designation.

Officials said the Robinsons will share a record jackpot of $1.58 billion with winners in California and Florida. The identities of the California and Florida winners are unknown at this time.

#Powerball winners? Watch exclusive interview with Tennessee couple who claim they have winning ticket: https://t.co/bowXH55rwf

“I startled him because he was asleep on the couch.” -Lisa Robinson had to wake up her husband after she saw the #Powerball numbers

The winners of the record jackpot overcame odds of 1 in 292.2 million to land the numbers drawn — 4-8-19-27-34 and Powerball 10. Winners can take the winnings in annual payments spread over decades or a smaller amount in a lump sum.

The jackpot drawing Wednesday night marked a record-setting day for the Tennessee Lottery, with $18.9 million in tickets sold, Hargrove said. A portion of the money is funneled toward education scholarships.

Powerball winners John and Lisa Robinson speak during a press conference at the Tennessee Lottery office Friday, Jan. 15, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo: Andrew Nelles / The Tennessean)

In addition to the jackpot, a Powerball ticket that won $2 million was sold in Dyersburg in Dyer County, two counties north of Tipton County. There was one $100,000 winner and 17 $50,000 winners, lottery officials said.

State lotto winners may not remain anonymous. Under the Tennessee lottery policy, a person’s name, home state and home town are a matter of public record.

Reach Natalie Neysa Alund at 615-259-8072. Follow her on Twitter @nataliealund.

The Tennessee Lottery Powerball Jackpot winners have come forward to claim their prize.

Winners Of $1.6 Billion Powerball Jackpot Sued By Prisoner

As the Powerball jackpot topped $1 billion, the frenzy grew. It was fun to dream, even if you knew you stood little chance. But often, a winner faces suits by friends, co-workers, even family. Sadly, it has now happened to the winning Robinson family of Munford, Tennessee. Jonathan Lee Riches, also known as Jihadi Schitz, has sued the Multistate Lottery Commission, Powerball and the Robinson family. The suit attempts to halt the payout of their third of the $1.6 billion win, or to recoup Mr. Riches’ alleged one-half of the loot.

The lawsuit is homespun and handwritten, hardly legible, much less drafted in the language of lawyers. But the suit is evidently meant to be serious, laying claim to half the winnings. Mr. Riches is the real winner, the home-made lawsuit claims. It goes on to allege that Mr. Riches was incarcerated in a penitentiary for the last several years, during which time Mr. Riches claims he was in frequent written contact with Ms. Tiffany Robinson, the daughter of the putative winners. Mr. Riches claims to have sent Tiffany $20 from his prison trust fund, urging her to give the money to her parents to buy lottery tickets, which the suit alleges they otherwise could not afford.

Rebecca Hargrove, second from right, president and CEO of the Tennessee Lottery, presents a . [+] ceremonial check to John Robinson, right; his wife, Lisa, second from left; and their daughter, Tiffany, left; after the Robinson’s winning Powerball ticket was authenticated at the Tennessee Lottery headquarters Friday, Jan. 15, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn. The ticket was one of three winning tickets in the $1.6 billion jackpot drawing. (Photo credit: AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Mr. Riches goes on to allege that Tiffany was going to “murry him,” and that if they won the lottery, they would leave America to live on a remote island full of milk and honey. He is bitter that she and her parents are spending money Mr. Riches claims is half his. His complaint says he is a Muslim and that Tiffany was going to be his Muslim wife.

John and Lisa Robinson and their daughter Tiffany recently appeared on the Today show, noting some plans for the money. They are celebrities in Munford, a town of 6,000 north of Memphis. They want to help friends, give to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, and donate to their church. Tiffany mentioned paying off student loans and has always wanted a horse.

Mr. Robinson has said he bought the winning ticket at his wife’s request. He bought four quick-pick tickets, one for each family member, then gave them to his wife and went to lie down when he got home. She stayed up to watch the Wednesday night drawing, carefully writing down the numbers. The Robinson family is entitled to roughly $533 million if they collect 30 years of payments, or roughly $327 million in a lump sum. The Robinsons’ son, Adam, is an electrician, less in the limelight than Tiffany.

But with happiness, can come legal claims and stress, on top of taxes. For remember, lottery winnings are taxed. The IRS takes taxes up to the top 39.6% rate. Yet the tax withholding rate on lottery winnings is only 25%. Some lottery winners can have trouble paying their taxes when they file. Most states will take a nice chunk of the money too.

The taxes on winning tickets are not the only downside. Apart from paying the taxman, what if friends, family or co-workers claim a share of the loot? It happens more often than you might think, often based on an alleged oral agreement. An innocent remark about splitting the winnings might be misinterpreted. Then, you must add the inevitable lawyers’ fees for defending against the claims.

Most such cases settle, yet taxes can hit on such legal settlements in surprising ways too. The jackpots do not need to be in the hundreds of millions for winners to be targets. Take the 53-year-old California woman who won $1 million, but faced a lawsuit by the liquor store owner who sold her the winning ticket. Eva Reyes was a winner, but the owner of the liquor Store where she bought the ticket sued her.

The store owner claimed that Ms. Reyes promised to split the money—$350,000 each after taxes—for fronting the money to buy the tickets. Even if you win a lawsuit, you may have to pay the IRS, even on your attorneys’ fees paid directly to your lawyer . When people talk of paying tax on money they never see—like money paid to a contingent fee lawyer from a case—it is usually because of the Alternative Minimum Tax.

Not every lottery case involves co-workers or friends. Sometimes the disputes are with family members, which can be even worse. In Dickerson v. Commissioner, an Alabama Waffle House waitress won a $10 million lottery jackpot on a ticket given to her by a customer. The trouble started when she tried to benefit her family and spread the wealth. The Tax Court held she was liable for gift tax when she transferred the winning ticket to a family company of which she owned 49%.

Tax advice before the plan might have avoided the extra tax dollars. Perhaps she shouldn’t have assigned her claim in a waffle house . Time and again, winners have trouble paying their taxes and resolving disputes. And sadly, winners are targets for lawsuits. But cheer up, the odds of winning are daunting.

The winners of the $1.6 Billion Powerball have been sued by a Tennessee prisoner who claims he fronted $20 for lottery tickets.