A $343.8 Million Powerball Jackpot After 25 Years of Using the Same Numbers

Robert Bailey knows the numbers by heart, having recited them to bodega clerks in New York every week, every year, for a quarter of a century. Then came Oct. 27.

Call it luck or persistence. But the combination of 8-12-13-19-27-4 hit. A retired postal worker who lives in Manhattan, Mr. Bailey, 67, won the largest jackpot in New York Lottery history, $343.8 million. On Wednesday, he accepted his lump sum check for $125,396,690 — his cut after taxes — in a public ceremony at the Resorts World Casino in Queens.

Mr. Bailey, a self-described “humble” man who was wearing dark sunglasses and dad jeans, was splitting the Powerball jackpot with Lerynne West, 51, a mother of three from Redfield, Iowa, who had claimed her prize more than a week ago. She told The Des Moines Register that a clerk had generated the numbers randomly for her.

While Ms. West had announced plans to start a foundation, and to donate $500,000 to an organization supporting wounded veterans, Mr. Bailey said he would “give back to Manhattan.” He did not specify how he would do so.

But he also had a more immediate plan: “Get a house for my mother, God bless her, with a little land,” he said. “Travel. And make good investments.”

And, perhaps, go somewhere exotic. “I haven’t been to Las Vegas in a while,” he said.

But who needs Vegas when he can have the West Harlem Deli on Fifth Avenue?

The deli, which reaped $10,000 for providing the winning ticket, is in Mr. Bailey’s neighborhood, but he said he rarely played his numbers there.

The Saturday of that drawing was rainy, so Mr. Bailey said he rushed out of a friend’s car to play his numbers; Mr. Bailey said he planned to “take care” of that certain friend who gave him a ride.

The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot were 1 in 292,201,338 million, according to the Lottery. But what are the odds when a person plays the same number thousands of times over 25 years?

Aaron Tenenbein, a statistics professor at New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business, estimated Mr. Bailey’s odds would have been 1 out of 115,385. “It doesn’t matter if he’s playing the same number, it’s still the same chance,” Mr. Tenenbein said. In other words: “It’s pure luck.”

Mr. Bailey said his winning numbers came from a set of digits given to him by a family member about 25 years ago, but wouldn’t elaborate. He said he played every New York State lottery game using those numbers — 8, 12, 13, 19, 27 and 40 — ever since. For the Powerball drawing, he adjusted the 40 to an allowable single digit.

For Mr. Bailey, lightning struck twice: He once won $30,000 on a Take Five ticket.

Mr. Bailey didn’t even watch the live Powerball drawing, he said, but checked the results later after watching college football. He saw the first five numbers match. “When I saw the 4, I just was in shock,” he said. He stayed up all night and barely slept that weekend.

It took him so long to come forward, he said, because “I had to see a lawyer and a financial adviser.”

Cheerful, but not exactly forthcoming, Mr. Bailey said he would have avoided the ceremony if he could, except that New York law doesn’t allow lottery winners to hide their identities. A spokesperson with the U.S. Postal Service said that Mr. Bailey had worked there since 1968, most recently as a machine operator, and retired in 2009. Mr. Bailey said he was single today, “but happy,” and has children, but wouldn’t say how many.

He arrived alone to claim his prize, even if he half-jokingly admitted he might need a bodyguard. Although his life has changed forever, he can’t quit one routine.

Mr. Bailey arrived in Queens clutching a fresh batch of tickets and numbers slips. “I had to play this morning before I came here,” he said.

“I’m going to ride this out, I can’t stop now.”

Alain Delaquérière contributed research.

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Patrick Brown calls Lisa MacLeod ‘nasty,’ ‘angry,’ says members of PC Caucus ‘hated her’ in new book

The former leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservatives is not pulling punches when it comes to social services minister Lisa MacLeod.

Brampton’s newly elected mayor Patrick Brown is scheduled to release ‘Take Down: The Attempted Political Assassination of Patrick Brown’ later this week.

In an advance copy shared with Global News, Brown unleashes on MacLeod saying, “When I think about Lisa MacLeod, I think about a person who is always angry. She was just angry with everything, with everyone and with her situation in life.”

Brown also claims, “Members of caucus hated her. If anyone else in caucus went off script the way MacLeod did, they’d be kicked out.”

Brown resigned from the party late last year after allegations of sexual misconduct were leveled against him. The allegations have not been proven in court.

Brown questioned in the book if MacLeod was one of the architects behind his exit from Queen’s Park.

“Might it be that she was involved?” he wrote. “I had heard that MacLeod had been conspiring against me for some time.”

Brown also questioned MacLeod’s loyalty, especially in the hours and days following his resignation.

Brown alleges he heard rumors MacLeod ‘cut a deal’ with Vic Fedeli.

“MacLeod and Fedeli appeared to be the first to immediately benefit from my takedown, he by becoming interim party leader and she by being named the finance critic, the top job after being leader,” Brown wrote.

In his book, Brown references a late night conference call with members of PC caucus that took place on the evening of his departure from Queen’s Park.

Brown dubs the evening, ‘The Night of Knives.’

He references MacLeod’s remarks on that conference call, saying, “We’re going into a campaign and we’ve just lost it now. I think Patrick, with all due respect, you don’t have the confidence of your campaign team. You don’t have the confidence of our caucus. You actually have to give those on this call and those candidates you recruited a fighting chance on June 7.”

In response Brown writes, “Which Lisa was this talking about doing right for the team? Would it be the Lisa, of the ‘I can’t keep staff cause I’m so nasty’ Lisa? Or perhaps the ‘I can’t work well with anybody’ Lisa? I couldn’t believe my ears.”

Brown also writes of MacLeod’s struggles with mental health.

He said Eastern Ontario party organizers and members of MacLeod’s team believed “that MacLeod made up the mental health issues she claimed to have suffered during the nomination races in order to endear the public to her and to make it difficult for her to be defeated in the nomination.”

Brown claims he told organizers to give MacLeod the benefit of the doubt but added, “None of what I did for MacLeod ever registered.”

When asked about the release of Brown’s book this week by Global News, MacLeod originally said, “I don’t comment on fiction.”

But after the publication of the story on Wednesday, MacLeod issued another statement.

“I am proud to be a member of the PC Government with our Premier Doug Ford. Our caucus is united, strong and focused on bringing relief to the people of Ontario after 15 years of Liberal mismanagement.

“The work environment at Queen’s Park, under this administration, is one that is supportive, inclusive and respectful. Unfortunately that was not the case during my time with the former Leader of the Opposition. He was not focused on supporting his team or creating an atmosphere where staff and MPPs were respected. 

“The comments made by the former Leader of the Opposition regarding my battle with mental health in his book are disgusting and cruel. After much support from my family, friends and medical community, I came forward with my own struggle, that is shared by millions of people across the province.  The dangerous claims made in this book will make it harder for children, teens and all Ontarians to share their stories and seek help.  It takes courage to speak openly about mental health struggles. Since I shared my story I made it my mission to be a mental health advocate and champion for others who might not have the support that I have. 

“I will not comment further on the allegations he makes in his book towards me, as I will not give any credence to the outlandish claims he has made, except to say they are categorically false.”

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Teen arrested for allegedly setting fire to door of Choa Chu Kang residential unit

SINGAPORE – A 19-year-old was arrested on Tuesday (Nov 13) after allegedly setting the door of a residential unit in Choa Chu Kang on fire.

The police said on Wednesday that they were alerted to a case of loan shark harassment by fire on Monday at around 10.50pm.

During the incident, the door of a residential unit in Choa Chu Kang Drive was set on fire.

Through investigations, officers from the Criminal Investigation Department and Jurong Police Division identified the suspect and arrested him at 5pm the next day.

Police investigations are ongoing.

The teen is due to be charged on Thursday with unlicensed moneylending harassment by setting fire.

Anyone found guilty of acting on behalf of an unlicensed moneylender, committing or attempting to commit any acts of harassment can be jailed for up to five years, fined between $5,000 and $50,000 and may receive between three and six strokes of the cane.

The police said in a statement: “The police adopt a zero tolerance approach against loan shark harassment, especially acts of harassment that cause damage and endanger lives.

“Offenders will be tracked down and dealt with severely in accordance with the law.”

The police advised members of the public to stay away from loan sharks and not to work with or assist loan sharks in any way.

Those who suspect someone could be involved in illegal loan sharking activities can call the police on 999 or the X-Ah Long hotline on 1800-924-5664.

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Private equity firm Vista to buy software company Apptio for $1.9 billion: WSJ

(Reuters) – Private equity firm Vista Equity Partners is close to a deal to buy software company Apptio Inc (APTI.O) for $1.9 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

Shareholders of Apptio would receive $38 per share in the deal that could be announced as soon as Monday, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Vista and Apptio did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment late on Sunday.

Shares of Bellevue, Washington-based Apptio closed at $24.85 on Friday, and the reported offer price would represent a premium of about 53 percent.

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Stada, Angelini among final bidders for $1 billion Bristol-Myers' UPSA unit: sources

FRANKFURT/LONDON (Reuters) – German drugmaker Stada (STAGn.DE) and Italian healthcare company Angelini are the only industry players to be shortlisted to make final bids for Bristol-Myers Squibb’s (BMY.N) French over-the-counter drugs business, four sources close to the deal said.

Two private equity firms, CVC Capital Partners and PAI Partners, have also made it through to the final round of the auction for UPSA, the maker of Dafalgan and Efferalgan painkillers, the sources told Reuters.

The sale, which is handled by Jefferies and Deutsche Bank, is worth about 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion).

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), Stada, CVC and PAI declined to comment while Angelini was not immediately available for comment.

BMS has given bidders a deadline of late November to submit final proposals, the sources said.

The U.S. firm took full control of the unit, which also produces effervescent aspirin and vitamin C, 24 years ago.

It is now looking to concentrate on high-margin prescription drugs, particularly for cancer, and hopes to sell UPSA for a multiple of 7.5 to 8 times its core earnings of 120 million-130 million euros, the sources said.

Germany’s Stada, which is backed by private equity firms Bain Capital and Cinven, is widely seen as the frontrunner for the deal as it seeks to build scale through major acquisitions, the sources said.

Italy’s Angelini, which is advised by BNP Paribas, is also willing to embark on a big deal, two of the sources said.

The sale initially drew interest from other big industry players including U.S.-run drugmaker Mylan NV (MYL.O) and Japanese healthcare firm Taisho Pharmaceutical which subsequently walked away from the process, the sources said.

UPSA generated revenue of 425 million euros in 2017 and employs about 1,500 people in France.

The sale comes amid a series of high-profile deals in the consumer health industry including Procter & Gamble’s (PG.N) acquisition of Merck KGaA’s vitamin brands in April and GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK.L) deal to buy Novartis (NOVN.S) out of their consumer healthcare joint venture for $13 billion.

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Trump to further restrict asylum seekers with limits, tent cities

US president says he’s finalising plan that would deny asylum to those who enter US between official ports of entry.

    Less than a week before the midterm elections, US President Donald Trump said his administration is finalising a plan that would deny asylum to individuals who cross the US border between official ports of entry. 

    Speaking at the White House on Thursday, Trump said the plan is “totally legal”. Legal experts say, however, it is expected to be challenged in court once announced. 

    Under US immigration law, any immigrant in the US can apply for asylum regardless of how he or she entered the country. 

    Trump said he would be signing an executive order sometime next week regarding immigration. He did not detail the proposal or how it would be implemented. 

    The announcement comes as Trump seeks to stoke fear over a caravan of Central American migrants and refugees making its way to the US-Mexico border. The caravan is still more than 1,100km away and is not expected to make it to the US border for weeks. 

    Those travelling with the caravan have told Al Jazeera they are fleeing violence, including political persecution, poverty, and poor healthcare. Many have said they plan to apply for asylum at an official port of entry, as other caravans have done in the past. 

    One Honduran woman, who witnessed her husband’s murder three years ago, said she joined the caravan to seek opportunities to send money back home to help provide for her son’s expensive medical care. 

    Trump also said the US is building “massive” tent cities to house asylum seekers, including children, while their claims are processed. In the past this could take years. 

    According to the 1997 Flores settlement, children can only be held in immigration detention for up to 20 days, after which they must either be released to a guardian or placed in a licensed shelter. Trump was forced to end his administration’s practice of separating families at the border earlier this year after public outcry. 

    Rocks to be treated like firearms

    On Wednesday, Trump said he could send more than 15,000 US military troops to the border. Some 5,200 troops are already making their way down to the border to provide logistical and other support to US border agents.  

    When asked on Thursday if troops would use force on migrants and refugees, Trump said if individuals are throwing rocks, they would be treated as if they have firearms.

    “I hope there won’t be that,” he said.   

    Trump referenced clashes between armed police and caravan participants at Mexico’s border with Guatemala. One Honduran man was killed and more than 100 others were injured on Sunday. 

    Trump has been hitting the campaign trail hard this week as he attempts to energise his Republican base ahead of the midterm elections. Democrats are vying to take control of Congress on November 6 in an election viewed as a referendum on the president’s first two years in office. 

    Trump was slammed late on Wednesday after he tweeted an anti-immigrant online campaign video blaming Democrats and suggesting, without evidence, that the caravan includes murderers.

    During his presidency, he has sought to fulfill a number of anti-immigrant campaign promises, including a wall between the US and Mexico and crackdown on immigration. 

    Earlier this year, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that “generally” domestic violence and gang violence would not longer be grounds for asylum. 

    Additional reporting by Sandra Cuffe from Tonala, Chiapas, Mexico.

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