Jimmy Naifeh’s kin sell winning Powerball ticket

A West Tennessee couple who claim to have one of the three winning tickets in the world-record $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot appeared on the “Today” show Friday morning in New York, reports the Commercial Appeal.

John and Lisa Robinson of Munford were joined by their daughter and their lawyer on the morning show. The Robinsons will have a one-third share of the jackpot.

They haven’t presented the ticket to Tennessee lottery officials for verification.

John Robinson said he stopped at Naifeh’s grocery store in Munford on his way home from work Wednesday and purchased four tickets.

Naifeh’s Food Market got a $25,000 check from Rebecca Hargrove, CEO of the Tennessee lottery, for selling the winning ticket, reports the Tennessean. The Naifeh family — yes, including Jimmy Naifeh — has operated the store for many years.

From The Tennessean:

Naifeh let her three kids skip school to be a part of the announcement, but her husband, Judson, was duck hunting two hours away. Judson is the nephew of former Tennessee House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh.

…Chester Maclin, a 30-year employee of Naifeh’s, said the last time there was as much media attention in Munford was when Jimmy Naifeh was running for office.

The longtime Democratic legislator was at the announcement to support his family and said he helped push the Tennessee General Assembly to pass the law that created the state’s education lottery.

He served 38 years in the state House until he opted against re-election in 2012. He was speaker from 1991 to 2008, when Democrats lost a majority in the House.

The Naifeh family has owned grocery stores in West Tennessee for nearly a century.

“It’s very exciting,” Jimmy Naifeh said. “It’s real good for the state and good for Munford.”

He added with a laugh: “It’s just a shame we don’t have $1 million payout; I guess those state legislators did that.”

In California stores that sell winning Powerball tickets receive $1 million.