A North Carolina man hit the Powerball jackpot recently, and he's ready to go public. Charles W. Jackson Jr. won $344 million — the largest amount anyone's ever won on a single ticket — but it's not so much his wealth people are buzzing about.
Jackson Jr., a retired store owner in North Carolina came forward to collect his prize money on Tuesday, according to CNBC. The 66-year-old stood before a number of cameras talking about how he'd chosen the winning Powerball numbers, but it was a young woman dressed as a Powerball, dancing in the background that captured everyone's attention.
In the video, as Jackson Jr. speaks about his incredible Powerball win, the mascot can be seen smiling and waving her gloved hands just behind him. It appears she was merely doing her job, but Twitter users couldn't get enough of her.
"female employee of the year," one Twitter user joked.
"The girl in the background waving her inflated hands is hilarious!" another tweeted.
"I wanna know what's going through the mind of that woman in the background...," a third tweeted.
powerball cosutme lady ONLY gets paid if her hands are moving.— Blair "Sweet Summertime” McKee (@BlairDMckee) June 14, 2019
"This is an amazing ad for the NC Powerball. I must have watched it all the way thru (sic) like 6 times. I have no idea what the man in the [video] looks or sounds like. 'Keep waving your hands and smiling like you don't regret your life choices!!!'" another Twitter user joked.
"Girl in the back's arms must be soooooo tired," a fifth person added.
Shawty in the back there really taking her Powerball hand-waving job seriously. Elite Mentality 🤣— Steven A Ross (@Goose_Actual) June 14, 2019
Despite the fanfare surrounding the costumed girl, no information about her has been revealed. Jackson Jr. hasn't said anything about her dancing outshining his Powerball win.
Jackson Jr. got plenty of attention on his own, especially after he talked about how he selected the Powerball numbers he played and won with. The North Carolina man said he found the numbers on the back of the piece of paper inside a fortune cookie. It was given to him by his granddaughter, according to CNBC. He didn't expect much to come of the choice.
"You play to win, but you never really expect to win the whole dang pot," Jackson Jr. said.
Initially, Jackson Jr. had no idea how much he'd actually won, according to NBC affiliate station WRAL. He thought he won $50,000, not the full multimillion dollar grand prize. Upon taking a closer look at his ticket, he realized exactly how rich he was about to become and was in shock.
"I said, 'Dang, I got them all,'" he recalled, adding that he called his wife and told her, "You ain't going to believe this — I got it all."
Jackson Jr. opted for the lump sum cash option when collecting his prize, which means he'll take home an impressive $223.3 million. This option is the more prudent one, according to CNBC. Financial experts often advise lottery winners to go this route as opposed to the multi-year annuity payments option. Once they've collected the cash, it should be invested wisely so as to make it last.0comments
Don't expect winning the Powerball jackpot to change Jackson Jr. He told crowds at the news conference he didn't expect a whole lot in his life to be different after his win.
"It probably won't change much," he said. "I mean, let me put it this way, I will still wear jeans. But, I will probably buy some new ones."