NEW YORK -- The nation's newest multi-millionaire was unveiled Thursday, when a plumber from New York was awarded the $136 million Powerball jackpot.
Anthony Perosi, 56, was the sole winner March 14 drawing. His life-changing story began March 14 with a routine stop at the 7-Eleven on Page Avenue in Staten Island.
"I was running some errands that day and stopped to buy my Powerball ticket," he said. "I picked my numbers a couple of months ago and have played them a few times before. They don't represent birthdays or anything. I just picked them randomly."
But Perosi wouldn't learn he won until weeks later, but thankfully, he kept his lucky ticket pinned in his lucky place.
"A few days after the drawing, I was talking with a friend of mine, and she told me the winning ticket was purchased at the 7-Eleven on Page Avenue," he said. "I said that's where I bought my ticket, and she told me she heard that a school teacher won it."
With that, Perosi didn't bother to check his ticket and left it pinned to the wall behind a pipe in his basement.
"That's where I keep all of my tickets," he said. "I even printed out the winning numbers from the drawing, but never checked them against my ticket."
Six weeks later, on April 27, Perosi finally got around to checking his ticket.
"I was having some car trouble and had some free time that morning," he said. "When I saw all the numbers matched up, I panicked. I immediately called my son and asked him to come over right away."
Anthony Perosi III came over and double-checked the ticket.
"I couldn't believe what I was seeing," the 27-year-old said. "I checked the numbers on my phone, and it has been surreal ever since."
Perosi claimed his ticket, with a cash value of $88,533,767, the following day at the Lottery's Customer Service Center in Manhattan, opting to split his prize with his son.
Perosi will receive a lump sum payment of $61,973,637 before required withholdings. His net check will total $38,612,055. Perosi III will receive a one-time payment of $26,560,131, netting him $16,548,023 after withholdings.
"I don't really know how to feel right now," the younger Perosi said. "I don't have words for it. It's just unbelievable and a big relief, like a big weight is off my shoulders. I'll probably pay some bills, take a vacation, and then really take some time to think and plan for the future."
The elder Perosi was still a little overwhelmed when asked of his plans.
"I honestly don't know what my plans are right now," he said. "I want to continue to work, but will be able to relax a little more and not have any worries financially."
As for the friend who told him a school teacher had won the jackpot, Perosi passed along the good news.
"On my way to the claim center, I called her and said, 'You just made me wait six weeks to become a millionaire,'" he said. "We both had a big laugh about it."
The winning numbers for the March 14, 2015 Powerball drawing worth $136 million were 08 14 39 46 47 and Powerball 18.
NYC plumber wins $136 million Powerball jackpot, leaves ticket pinned to wall for weeks