Words by: Kevin Keise
Right now there is a man in New York doing the money dance. Well, it’s not sure if Robert Bailey is doing the Money Dance, Diddy Bop or the Harlem Shake, but whatever dance Bailey is doing, he is doing it all the way to the bank, cashing out his $343.8 million Powerball lottery ticket.
Yesterday, lottery officials announced Bailey, 67, as the winner of the record-breaking lottery jackpot at the Resorts World Casino in Queens. The winning ticket made him the largest lottery jackpot winner in New York history.
Bailey, who has been playing the same six lottery numbers for 25 years and plans to continue doing so, bought his winning ticket at a Harlem deli, where he played the winning numbers 8, 12, 13, 19 and 27, with a Powerball of 4.
“A family member gave me the numbers over 25 years ago, and I faithfully play them,” said Bailey, the retired federal government employee.
“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.”
The total prize in the Oct. 27 drawing nearly came to $700 million, but he will split the jackpot with a woman in Iowa who also picked the winning numbers, and Bailey opted to take the cash value and walked away with a net check of $125,396,690 after required withholdings.
Bailey, who previously won $30,000 from a lucky Take Five lottery ticket using the same numbers, said he plans to “do the right thing with the money,” as well as continue to play the lottery.
“Yes, I will continue playing my numbers until this train runs out,” Bailey said.
He plans to buy some land and a house for his mother, make a few good investments in hopes of creating generational wealth for his family. He’d also like to travel, visit Las Vegas, parts of the Caribbean, but his ultimate goal is to give back to his hometown of Manhattan.