Brooklyn truck driver is $298.3M New York Powerball winner

The Brooklyn dad stored the ticket in a ratty jacket for a week before coming forward.
Dave Johnson, a Brooklyn-based truck driver, is the sole winner of the near $300 milllion Powerball jackpot.
Dave Johnson, a Brooklyn-based truck driver, is the sole winner of the near $300 milllion Powerball jackpot.NBC New York

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By Elisha Fieldstadt

"Oooooweee!"

That was the reaction of a Brooklyn dad who was the lone winner of last month's $298.3 million Powerball, the second-largest jackpot in New York state history.

David Johnson, 56, of East New York, accepted his winnings from Yolanda Vega of the New York Lottery Friday at Resorts World Casino in Queens.

Johnson said he was sick on the day after Christmas but dragged himself to his job as a truck driver so he could get holiday pay.

When he went to gas up his truck, he went into the minimart with a $5 bill to play what he always plays: Lotto, Mega Millions and Powerball. Johnson chose quick-pick, and the computer spit out 05, 25, 38, 52 and 67, with Powerball 24.

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Johnson called out sick the next day, and even though he got a call from a friend saying the winning ticket had been sold at the gas station where he bought his, he said, "That's not me man, that’s not my luck" and didn't check to see if he had the winning numbers.

When he stopped at the gas station on Friday, he decided to scan his ticket. When he realized he was in fact the lucky winner, "I jumped up and down in the store, man," he said.

"I got right back in my car, turned my music up, and zoomed on home," Johnson said. He didn't go to work that day, and he doesn't intend to go back.

"I’m rich. I don’t gotta go to work no more," Johnson said.

He alerted his family of their new fortune — his wife thought he was kidding and his daughter cried — but didn't claim the money until Jan. 2.

Johnson said he kept the winning ticket in the safest place he could think of — a ratty jacket that no one would steal.

"If somebody breaks into your house, they’re going to look for the nice stuff," Johnson reasoned.

Johnson has chosen to take the lump sum, which amounts to $180 million and $114 million after taxes.

He said he plans to take care of his family, buy a red Porsche and "a nice house."

But Johnson, who is originally from Jamaica, doesn't plan to move too far.

"New York is my place," he said.