A 56-year-old Brooklyn truck driver originally from Jamaica is the happiest man at the moment after claiming a $298.3 million Powerball jackpot, the New York State Gaming Commission said Friday.
The jackpot, drawn on December 26, is the second-largest in New York Lottery history, a release stated.
Johnson played the lottery with the numbers 5-25-38-52-67, and Powerball 24. He chose to take his winnings in a single lump-sum payment totaling $114 million after taxes.
“I’m not going to work, I’m quitting right away!” an elated Johnson told CNN affiliate WABC.
Johnson was sick when he bought the ticket at a gas station on December 26, CBS New York reports. Despite his ill-health, he decided to go to work so he could collect holiday pay.
As usual, he filled up at a local gas station in Brooklyn, spending $5 on lottery tickets including one quick-pick Powerball ticket.
After work, he messaged that he would be out sick the following day.
“A friend of mine, the next driver for the company called me and said, ‘Dave somebody won the Powerball at the gas station,’” he said. “I told him no bro that’s not me man. That’s not my luck.”
He took that away from his thoughts and it would take him several days before finally checking his ticket and realising he had won.
“I looked at the board and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, Jesus, oh my God’” he said. “I jumped up and down in the store…. I got back in my car, turned the music up and zoomed on home.”
Johnson’s life has changed since then.
“I can’t even eat. I start and can’t finish my food. I’m happy with joy inside,” he is quoted in a statement.
He said he is not working as a truck driver any more because he is a rich man now and plans to take care of his family.
“I have to lift boxes and stuff like that,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong the job pays good. It’s hard work. So I always wanted to quit. Now, I get a chance to quit.”
The New York Lottery is North America’s largest and most profitable and provides about 13% of total state education aid to local school districts, according to the CNN.
Johnson came to the U.S. from Jamaica when he was 16. His win was the third time consecutive Powerball jackpot win by a New Yorker in 2018, a statement from Powerball said.