Mon | Apr 24, 2017

316-million reasons to smile

Published:Sunday | June 7, 2015 | 6:00 AMRyon Jones
Fifty-year-old E. Powell proudly displays his record Lotto jackpot winnings.

The smile threatened to break through but hardly came, while his speech impairment as a result of cancer was obvious, but still the winner of Jamaica's largest Lotto jackpot was on cloud nine as he told The Sunday Gleaner that the first thing he wants to buy is a new car.

Fifty-year-old E. Powell, of a Corporate Area address, hit the longest-ever-running Lotto jackpot of $395 million on May 27, ten months after it had started in August, 2014. After tax, Powell will pocket $316 million.

Powell, who is a mechanic - or at least was - purchased the winning numbers of 2, 5, 10, 11, 27 and 39 as part of a set of five quick prints just one hour and 15 minutes before the draw.

He did not check to see if he had won until three days later, when he went to purchase a next set of numbers. His wife of 15 years said he has been singing about getting a car ever since.

"From him win, him talking about him going to buy a fat car, a fat vehicle. I don't know what that mean," shared Mrs Powell while laughing.

The father of two, who under-went a major surgery 15 years ago due to cancer, said apart from the effect on his speech, which is barely audible, he has had no further complications since and now plans to "set up" himself so that he and his family can live a decent life.

With Powell collecting his cheque yesterday, Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL) paid out nearly half a billion dollars in the space of three days as Super Lotto winner U. Dixon collected a cheque for $117.9 million last Thursday.

"This is what we live for," said Brian George, president and CEO of SVL.

"The manifestation of this business is the fact that we make a difference in people's lives; the fact that it is ordinary Jamaicans who are able to enjoy a lifestyle well into their retirement and in his (Powell's) particular case, somebody who had health challenges to be able to have such a comfortable life at this stage of his life," added George.

ryon.jones@gleanerjm.com