David Kaltschmidt and his wife Maureen Smith won the biggest Powerball jackpot ever, but too much has changed about their everyday lives. The couple’s three-way share from a record-shattering $1.56 billion prize was a $328 million windfall that easily puts them in the category of the ultra-rich with enough money to buy supercars, sprawling mansions and travel anywhere they want.
The Daily Mail is reporting that Kaltschmidt, a 56-year-old former engineer and his 71-year-old wife still say in their humble $300,000 home, and surprisingly continue to play the same lottery numbers, 4 8 19 27 34 with a Powerball of 10 as they have done for the past 30 years.
Kaltschmidt did not believe his wife when she initially told him that they had the winning numbers. According to him, he thought his 71-year-old wife was pulling his legs. It was when she showed him the ticket that he knew it was no joke. The couple bought the winning ticket at a Publix supermarket in Melbourne Beach, Florida. Smith still shops at the same place and still shares conversations with the checkout staff like when she bought the ticket 18 months ago.
The Florida big winners had to wait for a month before they could claim their sizeable sum of $327.8 million before taxes. They opted for all the cash upfront instead of investing in government securities and getting annual returns over a 30-year period. Many observers believed as they preferred to collect all their earnings at once, they were headed for a splurging spree.
Neighbors were astonished that the couple who have been married for 37 years returned to their three-bedroom residence and were even more surprised to see Maureen still checking up on her old friends and walking her dog, Cassie. One of the neighbors said he was impressed that nothing had changed with the multi-millionaire couple.
“There’s no luxury yacht moored out the back and no real changes. They were nice, humble people and they are exactly the same now. It makes a nice change from all the stories you see in the news about people winning the lottery, going mad, even killing themselves.”
The only perks Kaltschmidt and Smith afforded themselves were a $90,000 Tesla for Maureen and a gold-colored SUV for David. David, an avid fisherman, still opted to keep the same 15ft Boston Whaler he had bought before the historic win. In appreciation, the couple gave the Publix store that sold them their winning ticket, $100,000.
The New York Daily News reports Kaltschmidt gave up his engineering job with an aerospace and defense technology company. He had worked there for over 34 years. David said his co-workers suspected that he had won when he showed up late for work the following morning after the Powerball January 13 lottery draw.
When Maureen was accosted by a reporter and asked how life was going as one of the newest multi-millionaires on the planet, the mother-of-two said “nothing exciting.”
[Featured Image by Steve Cannon Fotolia/AP Images]