john robinson powerball winner

This Tennessee couple may have won $327 million in the Powerball lottery — but they won’t necessarily be any happier

The small-town Tennessee couple overcame odds of one in 292 million to win a portion of the record high $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot.

They claimed their winnings in a lump sum of about $327 million, the Associated Press reports, rather than receiving 30 annual installments that would have totaled an estimated $533 million.

“We’re going to take the lump sum, because we’re not guaranteed tomorrow,” Robinson told AP. “We just wanted a little piece of the pie. Now we’re real grateful we got the big piece of the pie.”

As history assures us, a big piece of the pie does not guarantee happiness — and in some cases, it leads to the opposite. Consider the many people whose lives took a turn for the worse after winning the lottery.

As Robert Williams, a professor of health sciences and gambling studies at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, told Business Insider’s Shana Lebowitz, perhaps the biggest problem with modern lotteries is how they portray the effects of winning.

“They deceptively convey the notion that life will improve,” he says, when in fact, “we adapt to our material gains.”

“In other words, while you might be happy for the first few months after you hit the jackpot, eventually that elation will wear off and you’ll have new concerns, like the stock market,” Lebowitz writes.

Another problem that sudden wealth can lead to is lack of structure in your daily life, warns Robert Pagliarini, author of “The Sudden Wealth Solution,” who has spent 20 years working with sudden wealth recipients.

“We are used to having structure in our day. We get up, go to work, look forward to the weekends. We have challenges and goals we are pursuing,” he tells Business Insider. “Sudden wealth can flip all of this on its head. When we have more money than we could ever spend, most people quit their job — but the job provides many of us with structure, a sense of purpose, and a great deal of our social interaction. Remove this and it leaves a big void.”

That doesn’t mean sudden wealth is always a problem. While a cash windfall can turn into a nightmare overnight if you let it, “it can also be an opportunity to re-shape your life and to help family, friends, and your community,” emphasizes Pagliarini.

For now, the Robinsons have no plans to quit their jobs — she works at a dermatologist’s office and he is a warehouse supervisor — or leave Munford, the small Tennessee town where they both went to high school.

They don’t even plan on buying a new house. “Big houses are nice,” the couple told AP, “but also you gotta clean ’em.”

John and Lisa Robinson claimed their winnings in a lump sum of about $327 million.

John and Lisa Robinson Powerball Giveaway Hoax

A new Facebook hoax claims that Powerball winners John and Lisa Robinson are giving away their money on Facebook.

  • Published 16 January 2016


Powerball winners John and Lisa are giving away money on Facebook.

Collected via Facebook, January 2016




On 15 January 2016, Lisa and John Robinson stepped forward as buyers of one of the $1.6 billion Powerball lottery’s three winning tickets:

John Robinson and his wife Lisa bought four tickets at Naifeh’s Food Mart, a grocery store one block from their home in Munford, Tennessee, at 6:56 p.m. on Wednesday night. Robinson, a father of two, said he bought the four tickets as he always does to represent the four members of their family, with the computer choosing the winning numbers of 04, 08, 19, 27, 34 and Powerball 10.

Shortly after the identity of the winner was revealed, a fake message started circulating, which claimed that the Robinsons were giving money away to random people on Facebook. As with previous messages featuring Mark Zuckerberg and Eminem, these Facebook messages are a hoax. John and Lisa Robinson are not giving away money to people who like, share, or comment on a Facebook post.

It appears that the message originated on the fake news web site Daily Media Buzz. In addition to creating the fake message, DMB also created fake Facebook comments to make it seem like some random people had received money for John and Lisa:

A fake web site,, was also started in an attempt to legitimize this hoax.

These “something for nothing” hoaxes are common on Facebook. While they employ different methods in an attempt to spread on social media (some request likes, some request comments, some even display fake countdowns to give the hoax a sense of urgency), they all have one thing in common: They are potentially opening up the social media user to malware or advertising scams (as this particular one increasingly appears to be) and they don’t result in cash windfalls.

A new Facebook hoax claims that Powerball winners John and Lisa Robinson are giving away their money on Facebook. (They're not.) ]]>