Two former Long Islanders who won a third of last month’s Powerball jackpot said they played the same numbers for 30 years — so long they can no longer remember their significance.
Maureen Smith, a self-described homemaker, and her husband, David Kaltschmidt, a long-time manufacturing engineer for Northrop Grumman, opted for a one-time lump sum payment of $327,800,000 before taxes.
The Jan. 13, multi-state drawing marked the largest jackpot in history at $1.58 billion. Winning tickets were purchased in Florida, Tennessee and California.
The couple, who have lived in Melbourne Beach, Florida since 1991, said in a news conference Wednesday that they don’t yet know what they plan to do with all of the money, though Kaltschmidt will retire early.
As for major purchases, they said they have modest goals right now: Kaltschmidt plans to replace his truck. His wife said she would like a massage.
They said, too, that they would “take care” of family members and would donate some money to charity but did not elaborate.
The couple, who owned a home in Central Islip in the 80s and early 90s, said they dreaded going public. Kaltschmidt said he lost 10 pounds since learning of his new fortune and his wife said she worries she’ll become more suspcious of other people.
“We have a lot to think about,” Smith said. “It’s very stressful. It’s new.”
Both kept mum for weeks, not even telling their own family members of their winnings.
“We just kept quiet and acted normal,” Smith said, adding that the only input they sought was from a lawyer. They also tightened their home security.
Her husband continued to report to work but plans to leave.
“They can do without me,” he joked.
Florida alone generated $283 million in Powerball sales — more than $114 million/see add/rt of it will go toward education.