Anthony Perosi, right, who will share his serious lottery winnings 70-30 with his son, Anthony Perosi III. (Photo: Mary Altaffer/AP Photo)
A New York plumber gave his only son a gift this week that many parents can only daydream about being able to give to their kids: a generous portion of his $136 million lottery winnings.
“I said, “Come over here immediately. Don’t ask why. Just come over,’” Anthony Perosi, 56, of Staten Island, told Good Morning America on Friday, recalling how he called his 27-year-old son upon realizing he’d won the Powerball jackpot recently. When his son, Anthony Perosi III, arrived, the two rechecked the numbers and began to sob, realizing their lives were about to change. “It was crazy,” Perosi said.
The senior Perosi opted to take his winnings in a lump sum payment to be split 70-30 with his son; after taxes, say Lottery officials, Dad will make out with more than $38.6 million while his son, a food company salesperson, will get over $16.5 million.
Father and son claiming their winnings at a press conference in New York. (Photo: Mary Altaffer/AP Photo)
On their list of ways to spend: a “nice car” and a house on the Jersey Shore for the son and, for the father, a new vehicle and an updated cellphone to replace his flip phone, as well as some vacations. “You know, Buffalo, the woods,” he told the New York Times.
Perosi, who has worked as a plumber for 38 years, almost neglected to claim his prize; a few days after buying his $2 Powerball ticket at a 7-Eleven in March, a fellow diner at a local restaurant told him that a teacher had won, and to forget about the jackpot. So Perosi never checked his ticket — until his truck broke down in April and he wondered how he would afford the repairs, according to the New York Times. When he saw that his numbers matched up he could barely take a breath. “I went to breathe in and no air would go in. I was by myself and I said, ‘Oh, my God, my heart has stopped,” he told Good Morning America.
Both father and son share a serious work ethic, though: Both have said they plan to continue on with their jobs.
“I don’t have words for it,“ the son told Newsday of his windfall. "It’s just unbelievable and a big relief; like a big weight is off my shoulders. I’ll probably pay some bills, take a vacation, and then really take some time to think and plan for the future.”
As for Perosi, he told Good Morning America he’s never wanted for much in the way of material goods, declaring, “I’m just a simple person.”
And really generous dad.