LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A central Kentucky autoworker is lucky he held on to the $126 million Powerball ticket he bought on Christmas Eve during some last-minute shopping — after all, it was printed by mistake.
Lottery officials said Rob Anderson and his wife, Tuesday, were winners of the largest jackpot in the state’s history.
On Wednesday the couple was introduced at the state lottery headquarters in Louisville. The Andersons said they didn’t initially believe they had won the $126.6 million jackpot after buying lottery tickets together for 12 years.
“We didn’t hit it, that’s not us,” Rob Anderson said he told his wife after showing her the winning ticket the morning after the Dec. 26 drawing. “Something’s not right!”
Rob Anderson, 39, said the winning ticket was a misprint that he decided to keep while buying stocking stuffers at a Georgetown, Ky., gas station. He wanted to buy $1 lottery tickets for three people, but the clerk goofed.
“The clerk ran the $3 Quick Pick but he put it all on one ticket, and I was like, doggone it, I needed three separate tickets,” Anderson said.
The clerk asked him if he wanted to keep the ticket, which had three sets of random numbers.
“Yeah, I got a couple extra dollars,” Anderson said, and he bought three more tickets to give as gifts.
When he arrived at home, he tossed the ticket on his dresser and didn’t think about it until the Sunday morning after the drawing. When he remembered it, he checked the Powerball numbers and they matched one of the sets of numbers on the botched ticket: 32-36-37-41-53 and Powerball 30.
The couple, who work at a plant building seats for Toyotas, said they were hesitant to go public about the winnings. They declined to say if they had children.
“We’re really grounded people,” Rob Anderson said. “My wife taught me well, so to speak, to hang on to that dollar and see how far it gets you. We’ll still clip coupons and still look for the clearance rack.”
He said they would like to go back to school. His proposed major? Finance.
Tuesday Anderson said they have a dream of visiting Hawaii and she wants a new car.
The couple said they haven’t decided if they’ll return to work and whether they’ll take a lump sum payment, which would be worth about $63 million.
Prior to this jackpot, the largest ever won in Kentucky was $89.3 million in 1996.