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Powerball winner in New York: ‘You have to watch out for your safety’

Robert Bailey was introduced Wednesday by New York lottery officials as the winner of last months record-breaking Powerball jackpot. Bailey shares his winnings of nearly $700 million, with a woman in Iowa who also picked the winning combo. (Nov. 14)

Robert Bailey displays large replicas of his winning ticket and the check he earned. (Photo: AP)

The winner of the late-October Mega Millions lottery that created such a frenzy has yet to claim the prize and may remain anonymous even after cashing in on the $1.537 billion.

Robert Bailey did not have that option.

New York state law requires winners to reveal their names when claiming a lottery prize, so Bailey took some steps to protect himself and his bonanza after collecting the biggest jackpot in state history, the $343.8 million Powerball on Oct. 27.

He consulted with a lawyer and with a financial adviser before stepping up to present his winning ticket with the numbers 8, 12, 13, 19 and 27, with the Powerball of 4.

He wore a beard and large dark glasses in posing for a publicity photo.

He kept most information about his family and his plans for the loot private during an introductory news conference at the Resorts World Casino in Queens.

Still, the retired federal government worker realizes landing such a huge windfall comes with some pitfalls.

“You have to watch out for your safety, that’s the main thing,’’ Bailey said. “With any type of money, and this type of money also.’’

Bailey, who said he intends to buy his mother a house, has been playing the same six numbers for 25 years. The most he had won was $30,000 from a Take Five lottery ticket.

His Powerball take is actually half of the nearly $700 million pot up for grabs in the Oct. 27 drawing. A woman in Iowa also picked those numbers and will receive the other half.

Bailey, 67, purchased the lucky Powerball ticket at a deli in Harlem on a day when he was visiting a friend and ducked in to avoid the rain. And just because he won doesn’t mean Bailey’s done playing the lotto.

“I will continue playing my numbers until this train runs out,’’ he said. “I’m going to ride this out. I can’t stop now.’’

Money managers advise lottery winners to beware of common traps like buying expensive luxury items that depreciate quickly, making risky investments and neglecting to put away enough money.

Bailey said he plans to be smarter than that. He’d like to travel to places like the Caribbean and Las Vegas, but also give back to his hometown of Manhattan and help out his relatives.

“I still want to be me; I can’t let money change me,’’ he said. “But I want to do the right thing and take care of it for the next generation in my family.”

Contributing: The Associated Press

The winner of the largest lottery prize in New York state history takes steps to minimize the pitfalls that come with such a windfall.

Man who won $343 million Powerball jackpot played same numbers for 25 years

A New York man who dutifully stuck with playing the same Powerball numbers for 25 years now has enough wealth to last for generations.

Robert Bailey, 67, a retired government employee from Manhattan, won the largest jackpot in New York history when he took home $343.8 million in winnings from the Oct. 27 drawing.

“A family member gave me the numbers over 25 years ago and I faithfully play them,” he said at a press conference Wednesday at Resorts World Casino New York City.

Bailey took the lump sump payment, which works out to $125.3 million after taxes.

Lottery winner comes forward in New York

New York isn’t one of the six states that allows its lottery winners to remain anonymous. However, Bailey has taken steps in hopes of becoming one of the winners who find happiness and fulfillment instead of turning into another cautionary tale.

“I still want to be me; I can’t let money change me,” he said at the press conference. “But I want to do the right thing and take care of it for the next generation in my family.

“That’s why I went to a lawyer and a financial adviser first and sat down with them and talked business.”

Powerball winner in Iowa shares how she almost lost golden ticket

Bailey bought the ticket at a Harlem deli and was shocked when he checked the numbers online. The total prize for the Oct. 27 drawing was $687 million, which he split with Lerynne West, 51, of Redfield, Iowa, who also hit the winning numbers.

Even after winning the big prize, Bailey isn’t going to stop playing his favorite Powerball combination.

“Yes, I will continue playing my numbers until this train runs out,” he said.

A retired government employee in Harlem, New York, won $343.8 million in the Oct. 27 Powerball drawing by sticking with the same numbers he has been playing for 25 years. ]]>