Souami told reporters that he was "very emotional" after walking into the press conference with a wide smile on his face. "I like the numbers and I always play with those numbers", he said.
The father of two chose to take the $183 million cash payout and remain in his New Jersey hometown.
He found out he was the victor the next day.
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While Souami was stopped at a red light, he noticed a 7-Eleven store to his right and went inside to check his lottery tickets.
Souami had bought two tickets for the May 19 drawing at a ShopRite grocery store in Hackensack when he was returning something. "I scanned the ticket on my phone and then rebooted my phone before checking again".
Souami, a father of two who immigrated from an undisclosed country in Africa in 1996, had purchased the sole winning ticket.
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In response, I would quietly think, "I hate me too", and "Please, take my life". "Maybe even say, 'Look I've had hard times , too".
"The clerk kept saying, "Oh my God". He has two children.
"When he told me we won, I had to see for myself", said Joe.
The ticket is the third most valuable Powerball ticket sold in New Jersey.
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He refinanced his house in order to send his 17-year-old daughter to college, he said, and had received the check just a week before winning. The $533 million haul won by Vernon resident Richard Wahl in April is the highest jackpot payout in recorded in New Jersey.