Today at 1:30 p.m. Eastern, we will meet the second winners of the $1.58 billion Powerball jackpot. The first winners, a couple from Tennessee, came forward almost immediately to claim one third of the biggest Powerball jackpot in history, and today we will find out the Florida couple that also were jackpot winners. The third winning ticket was sold in California, and that winner has yet to come forward.
The lucky couple purchased their Powerball ticket for the historic January 13 Powerball drawing at a supermarket in Melbourne Beach, Florida, but did not come forward for over a month, presumably to get financial and legal advice before claiming their enormous Powerball prize.
The Powerball came to Florida in 2009, and according to CBS News, the state has paid out more than $1.9 billion in Powerball prizes since launching. The state Lottery authorities estimate the Powerball has created 220 millionaires, and 41 of those were Powerball multi-millionaires.
After winning their portion of the $1.58 billion Powerball prize last January, a Tennessee warehouse supervisor named John Robinson came forward as one of the lucky winners. He quickly announced that he would take the Powerball winnings in one lump sum, potentially giving up over $200 million in Powerball prize money.
After taxes, Robinson took home $328 million of the Powerball jackpot. If he had let the Lottery invest his money for him, he would have received 30 annual installments, which would have netted him around $533 million, according to CBS News.
Robinson said that he asked his brother to him him put together a team of lawyers and financial planners to help him manage his newfound fortune. During an interview after claiming his Powerball prize, Robinson confessed he and his wife were “going to take the lump sum,” explaining that “we’re not guaranteed tomorrow,” and it makes sense to enjoy the money today.
About his historic Powerball win, the small-town man said he and his wife “just wanted a little big piece of the pie. Now we’re real grateful we got the big piece of the pie.” At the time of the interview, Robinson said that he planned to continue living in their grey, one-story home in Munford, Tennessee, which is north of Memphis, Tennessee.
Although it seems the Robinsons are spending their lucky win wisely, one North Carolina Powerball winner has spent her fortune bailing out her boyfriend who keeps getting arrested on drug-related charges. After winning $188 million in the Powerball, single mom Marie Holmes pledged to spend her money on her children, one of whom has cerebral palsy, and her church, but in reality has spent the Powerball money on bail for her boyfriend, Lamarr “Hot Sauce” McDow.
According to Fox News, McDow had already been arrested on drug charges before Holmes won the Powerball — as soon as her winnings came through, Marie posted his $3 million bail. Just a few short months later, Hot Sauce was back in jail, and this time, it was a $6 million bail for a weapons charge. In January of 2015, Hot Sauce was arrested for an alleged street racing infraction this month, and bail was set at a cool $12 million.
While the Powerball winner does get a portion of her bail back, according to bail bondsmen in the Brunswick County area where Holmes lives. But a portion is also non-refundable. According to the bondsmen, the non-refundable rate in the Brunswick County area is anywhere from 7 percent to 10 percent, and according to Fox News, Holmes lost between $1.47 million and $2.1 million of her Powerball winnings.
It seems Holmes has used some of the Powerball money in the way she promised. After winning the Powerball, Marie donated $680,000 to Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church, and moved into a new home with her children.
[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]