With a 1 in 292 million chance of matching all six numbers the odds of actually winning the Powerball lottery are astronomically low, but that didn't stop Robert Bailey who finally struck it rich after using the same lotto strategy for 25 years.
Robert Bailey, a 67-year-old retired government worker from Harlem came forward Wednesday to claim $343.8 million -- his share of the $687 million October 27th jackpot, and the largest lottery win in New York history.
Bailey split the jackpot with an Iowa woman and opted for the lump sum, walking away with $125,396,690 after withholdings.
According to Bailey he owes his jackpot to a family member who gave him the winning numbers 8-12-13-19-27-4.
"A family member gave me the numbers over 25 years ago and I faithfully play them."
After 25 years his persistence finally paid off, but Bailey says winning won't stop him from continuing to play his numbers.
"Yes, I will continue playing my numbers until this train runs out." Bailey even arrived at his check ceremony at the Resorts World Casino in Queens with a stack of lotto tickets. "I had to play this morning before I came here," he said.
Powerball jackpot winner, Robert Bailey, claims $350 Million www.youtube.com
Bailey said he usually buys his tickets from the same three or four stores around his 126th street apartment, but on the day he bought his winning ticket it was raining so he dropped by a local deli.
On the night of the drawing Bailey couldn't believe it when he checked his numbers. "I said to myself, 'these look like my numbers.' I tried to remain calm and sat down to watch some shows I had on my DVR. I didn't sleep the rest of the night."
Before he cashed in his ticket though Bailey wanted to make sure he and his winnings were protected, waiting until weeks after the drawing to finally come forward
"I had to see a lawyer and a financial adviser. You have to watch out for your safety, that's the main thing,'' he said. "With any type of money, and this type of money also.
Aside from being safe about his money though Bailey says he doesn't plan on letting it change him. "I still want to be me. I can't let money change me, but I want to do the right thing and take care of it for the next generation of my family."
People on Twitter gave it up to Bailey for his persistence, impressed by his dedication to the same numbers for 25 years.
@CNN DAAAAMMMNNN that's consistancy!!!— Jada_Blaze🔥 (@Jada_Blaze🔥) 1542348286.0
@CNN https://t.co/VNhXsz0fGD— King of Sorrow (@King of Sorrow) 1542348245.0
@CNN https://t.co/Fbc6iuJIyR— StevieGee (@StevieGee) 1542348993.0
@CNN I’m into the long game ✊🏼— David Covell (@David Covell) 1542349300.0
But some were not convinced that Bailey's winning "strategy" was anything more than luck.
@CNN https://t.co/pLJENsVtaT— A$AP Adrock (@A$AP Adrock) 1542359467.0
@3mar85780448 @CNN https://t.co/FBwmaLE6Ms— SWED_44 ⛄ (@SWED_44 ⛄) 1542348910.0
Many however just wanted to wish Bailey well and good luck with avoiding the pitfalls common among jackpot winners.
@CNN Happy for him! Congratulations— lynnor (@lynnor) 1542348305.0
@CBSNews Good, congratulations.— Jeanne Azarovitz (@Jeanne Azarovitz) 1542261119.0
@CBSNews If it couldn’t be me, I’m really happy for him....sort of— Robin Galiano Island & Victoria 🇨🇦 (@Robin Galiano Island & Victoria 🇨🇦) 1542261076.0
@CBSNews Average lotto winner is BROKE WITHIN 6 mos 😂👎🏾— Jazzy K. W. ™ (@Jazzy K. W. ™) 1542261214.0
@Jazzy27K @CBSNews If he can blow 300 million in 6 months then I want to hang out with him for the next few months— Steven Thompson (@Steven Thompson) 1542291502.0
@CBSNews At ,67 he better start spending like now— Gissymol (@Gissymol) 1542276047.0
Bailey's story certainly proves that persistence can pay off. Hopefully the jackpot was enough to cover what he spent on 25 years worth of lottery tickets.
@CNN I think he may have broke even. Lol— Rick cummins (@Rick cummins) 1542376035.0