The Florida Powerball winners of the epic $1.58 billion jackpot have been revealed. The Powerball drawing was held on Jan. 13, 2016, and resulted in three winning tickets sold in California, Florida, and Tennessee. The Tennessee winners went public with their win shortly after the announcement of the jackpot winners was made. The Florida winners came forward through a live press conference held by the Florida Lottery Studios today. The California winner has yet to come forward. The names of the Tennessee Powerball jackpot winners are John and Lisa Robinson. The Florida Powerball winners are under The Nickel 95 Trust. The Nickel 95 Trust trustees are David Kaltschmidt, 55, and Maureen Smith, 70, of Melbourne Beach.
You can watch the live video from the Florida Lottery press conference announcing the Florida Powerball winners below.
— WFLA NEWS (@WFLA) February 17, 2016
According to the press conference, the couple opted for the lump sum payment instead of the annuity option. The $1.58 billion jackpot was split three ways, and the lump sum cash payment equaled $327,835,077.79. The couple looked ecstatic as they stood proudly with their check presented to them in Tallahassee.
Florida Couple Comes Forward To Claim Share Of Record $1.6 Billion Powerball Jackpot https://t.co/yhGjV12dwN
— CBS New York (@CBSNewYork) February 17, 2016
Florida Lottery Secretary Tom Delacenserie released a statement through the press release.
“The Florida Lottery is all about creating winning moments and giving people the chance to fulfill their dreams. We congratulate Florida’s newest jackpot winner, and recognize how this POWERBALL jackpot will not only change their life but allowed the Lottery to generate more money for education from a single jackpot than ever before, with more than $114 million raised for Florida students and schools.”
The couple shared their initial disbelief at having won the record-breaking jackpot. Maureen Smith stated that she felt the win was stressful and expressed concerns over how the win would change their lives. The couple chose to put the winnings into the trust; however, due to Florida’s laws, they could not keep their identities hidden and remain anonymous.
When asked if they could tell reporters what they were going to do with the money, Maureen Smith shook her head and answered emphatically with a simple, “No.” She then explained further.
“Well, of course we’re going to take care of family, and we have a lot to think about. It’s very stressful…it’s new..and we really don’t know. We have to think about it.”
One thing that is interesting to note is that Marueen Smith explained her method for winning the Powerball jackpot. While there has been an increase in winning Powerball and Mega Millions tickets used by playing Quick Picks, Maureen stated that she has been playing the same numbers for years. She also purchased an additional ticket that was a Quick Pick. It’s possible that Maureen Smith’s strategy might be the best for those who play lottery games like Mega Millions and Powerball. Instead of choosing one or the other, Maureen played both a Quick pick and her own numbers. The Tennessee winners who also won in the same $1.58 billion jackpot used a Quick Pick ticket.
Dave stated that when he woke up on the 14th and looked at the ticket and saw the winning numbers, he thought that Maureen somehow played a trick on him.
“She’s messing with me, she really is, he stated to the crowd.”
It didn’t take long for the Melbourne Beach, Florida, couple to realize this was the real deal and they were winners in the largest Powerball jackpot in all history. They stated they checked and rechecked the winning numbers, but once they heard a winning ticket had been sold in Melbourne Beach, they knew it was real. What the couple describes they did over the next weeks seems to be one of the smartest responses to a lottery win yet revealed.
Instead of telling all their friends, co-workers, and neighbors, the couple kept the information to themselves, even keeping it a secret from their children. The fact the couple remained out of public sight from Jan. 13 to Feb. 17, is a testament to their ability to keep the secret to themselves and not share it with the world. Maureen purchased the winning ticket at Publix and described it as her second home and stated it was difficult not to tell them the good news.
When describing how the past month has been, Maureen and David agreed they’ve lost a lot of sleep. David added he’s lost more than 10 pounds since the news. The couple definitely seems to be approaching the win with more caution and realism than some lottery winners from the past.
Maureen explained the worry that comes with being a sudden Powerball multi-millionaire.
“You worry. You worry what’s going to happen. To know that we’re no longer in a quiet place. Which I’m going to miss.”
David stated that he will be retiring from his job as a manufacturing engineer. The couple has been together since 1980. When asked why they sought a lump sum payment over a cash annuity, Maureen answered it was because of her age. Though you would hardly believe she was 70-years-old to look at her. Financial experts give various reasons why someone should take a cash annuity over the lump sum. Since Maureen and David seem to have a full understanding of the realities of being a lottery winner, aren’t likely to splurge their winnings on extravagant luxuries and have already sought legal advice, it seems the lump sum option would be the most appropriate choice for the lucky couple.
The couple stated they have sought legal advice and will have added security to their home. The couple also expressed an interest in charitable organizations, whether they will start their own or work with other charities wasn’t specified.
Florida Lottery Secretary Tom Delacenserie stated they hope to have the money transferred to the couple within two days. Congratulations to the Florida Powerball winners Maureen Smith and David Kaltschmidt.
[Photo by the Florida Lottery]