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'I don’t gotta go to work no more': Truck driver claims $298.3 million Powerball jackpot


A Brooklyn truck driver has claimed a $298.3 million Powerball jackpot, the New York State Gaming Commission announced Friday.

The jackpot, drawn on Dec. 26, is the second-largest in New York Lottery history, according to a release.


David Johnson, 56, was sick when he bought the ticket at a gas station, NBC News reports. He decided to work his job as a truck driver anyway so he could collect holiday pay. He called in sick the following day, CBSNewYork says. Johnson soon learned that the winning ticket had been sold at the location where he bought his ticket, but he didn't get his hopes up, the station reports. “That’s not my luck,” he recalls saying, according to CBSNewYork. It took him several days to check his ticket. When he returned to the gas station to scan his ticket, he was shocked at the result that appeared on the screen: "BIG WINNER." Since then, Johnson's life has been changed. “I can’t even eat. I start and can’t finish my food. I’m happy with joy inside,” he is quoted in a release. Johnson will take his winnings in a single lump-sum payment totaling $114,091,248 after taxes, a release says. He's not working as a truck driver any more, NBC News reports: "I’m rich. I don’t gotta go to work no more," Johnson said.



When he went to gas up his truck, he went into the minimart with a $5 bill to play what he always plays: Lotto, Mega Millions and Powerball. Johnson chose quick-pick, and the computer spit out 05, 25, 38, 52 and 67, with Powerball 24. Johnson called out sick the next day, and even though he got a call from a friend saying the winning ticket had been sold at the gas station where he bought his, he said, "That's not me man, that’s not my luck" and didn't check to see if he had the winning numbers.

When he stopped at the gas station on Friday, he decided to scan his ticket. When he realized he was in fact the lucky winner, "I jumped up and down in the store, man," he said. "I got right back in my car, turned my music up, and zoomed on home," Johnson said. He didn't go to work that day, and he doesn't intend to go back. "I’m rich. I don’t gotta go to work no more," Johnson said. He alerted his family of their new fortune — his wife thought he was kidding and his daughter cried — but didn't claim the money until Jan. 2. Johnson said he kept the winning ticket in the safest place he could think of — a ratty jacket that no one would steal. "If somebody breaks into your house, they’re going to look for the nice stuff," Johnson reasoned.


Johnson has chosen to take the lump sum, which amounts to $180 million and $114 million after taxes. He said he plans to take care of his family, buy a red Porsche and "a nice house." But Johnson, who is originally from Jamaica, doesn't plan to move too far. "New York is my place," he said.


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