A father-of -four has had the last laugh for two very good reasons: he just won US$315.3 million (AU$414.7 million) in a US Powerball lottery, and he proved himself right in the face of relentless nagging from his son.
Tayeb Souami, a 56-year-old accountant who emigrated from Africa to the US in 1996, will take home US$182.2 million before taxes after scooping the third-biggest single win in New Jersey’s lottery history, joked with reporters that “father knew best” after recalling how his son urged him for years to stop wasting money on lottery tickets.
“I’m very emotional right now in front of you,” he said as he fought back tears, the New York Post reported from the press conference. He said son Imel, 20, had long been telling him to stop playing the lottery because of the tiny chance of winning but that it was the habit of a lifetime.
He bought the ticket from a 7-11 store as he returned a carton of orange juice and took it back to the same store the next day to see if he’d had any luck. The cashier’s excited reaction to his ticket tipped him off that he was on to something big, but just how big took some time to get used to.
After learning of his massive win, Souami said it took him two hours to complete the required forms to claim his win because his hands were shaking too badly. Now he intends to use the money to pay off his mortgage and pay for his children to go to college – proving he’s not holding Imel’s advice against him!