Most will go to foundation to support performing arts around U.S.
A Knoxville man has won a $259.8 million Powerball jackpot, and he claimed his $115 million prize on Thursday. It’s the largest prize ever won in the Tennessee Lottery.
Roy Cockrum, 58, presented the winning Powerball ticket to Tennessee Education Lottery officials on Thursday, matching all six numbers selected on June 11. The winning ticket was verified, and the “cash option” prize was claimed.
After taxes, the take-home prize amount is $115,147,525.50, a press release said.
“It’s a hard thing to process; your brain doesn’t want to believe it,” said Cockrum, a businessman, former actor, and monk. “I was in a rush to take Mom to a medical appointment when I first checked the ticket. I saw the Powerball match and three winning numbers and thought, ‘Wow! $500! You never win that much on Powerball.’ I felt really lucky.
“But then—wait a minute, wait a minute—there’s another number, and finally I realized I hit the jackpot. It literally knocked me to my knees. My prayer was simple—‘Lord have Mercy!’ But life goes on, so I picked myself up, put the winning ticket in my wallet and went to pick up my mother. I walked around University of Tennessee Medical Center all that morning with a $259.8 million winner in my pocket.”
Cockrum was born and raised in Knoxville but left Tennessee after graduating from West High School to earn an acting degree from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and to pursue a career in the theater. After more than 20 years spent working as an actor and stage manager for theater and television, Cockrum became Brother Roy as he followed a call to religious service with The Society of Saint John the Evangelist, an Episcopal religious community in Cambridge, Massachusetts. [Read more…]