20 January 2016
If you're anything like us, you more than likely pass out from shock. $1.586 BILLION DOLLARS!
But once you recover from the insanity of the moment, what's the first thing you do?
Perhaps you call your loved ones to let them know the earth-shattering news. Perhaps you assemble a crack team of lawyers, financial advisers and tax consultants to advise you on what to do with your new-found windfall and how to manage it.
Perhaps you keep your head down for the next few months, preferring to stay anonymous until the billion-dollar jackpot fever has died down. Or perhaps you race to claim your magnificent jackpot and begin the life of luxury you've always wanted.
If you're the Robinson family of Munford, Tennessee, however, you do none of these things.
Instead, you go on national television to announce your win, before even registering your claim with Powerball officials.
In a move that has shocked industry experts, the Robinsons, winners of a one-third share of the world's biggest-ever jackpot, have stayed away from the expected route that jackpot winners usually take, and have instead done something completely unexpected - by going on the USA's "Today" show ahead of confirming the validity of their ticket with lottery officials.
While some may call such an action bold, lottery experts aren't so sure. "It’s a good example of what not to do," says Jason Kurland, a New York attorney with experience in representing lottery winners.
Karen Gerstner, a Houston attorney with similar lottery experience, echoes his sentiments: "I definitely would not have recommended that – very ill-advised for a number of reasons. Now, every long-lost relative and friend will approach them with a sob story, asking for money, and all the 'financial crooks' will come after them."
Danielle Mayoras, an estate planning attorney from Michigan, agrees. "[It was] shocking. Putting it out there on the 'Today' show before you even make the claim, before you even get everything in order, was extremely surprising. It really put the lottery ticket as well as the family at risk."
The Robinson family appeared to be unconcerned with experts' warnings, however, relishing their time on the "Today" show.
Together with daughter Tiffany, their attorney Joe Townsend, and his daughter Eileen, the Robinsons announced their massive win as John pulled out the winning ticket to display to the nation - one that still needs to be taken to Nashville in order to secure their claim to a lump sum of $328 million after taxes.
"Flying back and forth to New York when you have to submit the ticket and make the claim in Tennessee may not be the best idea," says Mayoras. "Whether you’re carrying around a Powerball-winning ticket or not, we all know when you go to a big city there’s things that can happen. People lose things, and traveling and everything else."
So say the experts, and yet in a surprising twist, the Robinsons revealed that their course of action had been taken on the advice of an expert in the first place - their attorney, Joe Townsend.
"I think the American public wants to hear from them,” Townsend revealed on the "Today" show, when explaining his thinking. "Even though they want to be private after this is over, they want to, you know, let the public know that they’re the winners."
We're not sure how successfully the Robinsons will be able to safeguard their privacy after revealing their lotto-winning status on national television, but we wish them all the best.
And if they ever need any ideas on how to spend their massive jackpot win, we have plenty to share!
Our advice to you though? If you want to replicate the Robinsons' Powerball success, there's only one way to go about it - by purchasing your Powerball tickets from GiantLottos.com!
The mid-week draw will be coming up soon, so get your tickets in time and who knows - you could soon discover first-hand what you'd do if you won the lottery.
And if you decide to go on the "Today" show, we'll support you every step of the way!