$315 Million Powerball Lottery Winner Comes Forward
The winner of a $315 million lottery jackpot is a New Jersey accountant.
Tayeb Souami, 55, said he purchased the winning Powerball ticket at a ShopRite in Hackensack, ABC News reported. “I like the number,” he said before buying the tickets.
The next day, he realized that he had won. When he stopped at a red light, he went into a 7 Eleven store to check the tickets. The first ticket that he scanned wasn’t the winner, but the second ticket said “good.”
“Can you check?” Souami asked the cashier, according to ABC. “I think your machine isn’t working.”
He added, according to the Washington Post, “I scanned the first ticket. It wasn’t a winner. And the second ticket it was good, but always I see $2, $4, but that day I see, ‘Must be seen by the retailer.’ I scan it again and it [said the same thing]. And I say to the lady, I hand it to the lady and I say ‘Can you check? I think your machine is not working.’
The clerk then shrieked.
“My heart, it was just beating, beating, beating,” he said, as the Post reported. “And she kept saying, ‘Oh, my God. Oh, my God.’ It’s like when you see a ‘Tom and Jerry’ cartoon: The heart goes boom boom boom boom.”
“This is big. I am very emotional right now. I like the numbers and I always play with those numbers,” he told The Associated Press, referring to his job as an accountant.
Souami, who is a married father of four, came to the United States in 1996. He will win more than $183 million after taxes, taking the lump sum option, AP reported.
Souami has since quit his job but is planning to stay in New Jersey. He said that, however, he wanted to make sure that 200 people that he works with “will be OK,” according to ABC, without elaborating.
“I have to take care of them,” he told ABC. “It’s not so easy to quit just like that.”