A Knoxville man has come forward and claimed the state’s largest ever lottery jackpot worth $259.8 million.
Roy Cockrum, 58, purchased the winning Powerball ticket last month at the Kroger store located at 6702 Clinton Highway in Knoxville.
Cockrum, a former actor and monk who is now self-employed, opted for the lump sum option and after taxes will take home $153.5 million.
According to Cockrum, the realization that he had won the jackpot “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.”
By law, winners must bring their ticket to Tennessee Lottery headquarters to be verified. Cockrum did that Thursday afternoon.
After the ticket was verified, Cockrum was introduced to media from across the state in a news conference.
Born and raised in Knoxville, Cockrum spent more than 20 years working as an actor and stage manager for theater and television.
He later entered an Episcopal religious order in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he was known as Brother Roy.
Cockrum returned to Knoxville in 2009 to take care of his parents.
Cockrum said he plans to devote the majority of his prize money to a foundation he is creating to “support performing arts organizations around the country.” He also plans to make “large gifts to a long list of charities.”
The Kroger store where the ticket was sold announced last week that it would donate its $25,000 prize money to five local charities: Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee, Cystic Fibrosis, Children's Hospital, the Teacher's Supply Depot and Love Kitchen.
Just last January, a retired state worker from the Bellevue area won a $61 million Mega Millions jackpot in what was then Tennessee’s largest lottery jackpot ever awarded.
Monday, September 1 2014 9:11 AM EDT2014-09-01 13:11:08 GMT
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