Jeff Smith, of Stanton, retired the day he learned he had won $1 million playing Powerball.
“Even a month later, I’m still in disbelief,” said Smith. “I’m not sure it will sink in that I won $1 million until I get the check and put the money in the bank.”
Smith was standing in line at Zerka’s Party Store, located at 134 West Main Street in Stanton, when he had a lucky feeling.
“As I was going up to the register, I just thought ‘I ought to buy a couple of Powerball easy picks,’” said Smith. “I play the Lottery regularly, but may buy Powerball tickets once or twice a year. I’m not sure why I got that feeling, but I’m sure glad I did.”
Smith matched the five white balls drawn – 15-16-23-27-36 – on Jan. 17 to win $1 million.
The next day, Smith returned to Zerka’s Party Store to buy a cup of coffee and check his Lottery tickets, something he’d done many times before. This time, he got a very different result.
“When I scanned my ticket, the machine said to see the clerk. I told the clerk what the machine said and she told me the store had sold a $1 million winner,” said Smith. “As soon as I heard that, I signed the ticket, paid for my coffee and headed to a friend’s house to check my numbers.”
The friend confirmed the good news for Smith: he was a $1 million Powerball winner.
“I put the ticket in a safe while I got my affairs in order before coming to claim the prize,” said Smith.
Smith has had plenty of time to think about what he wants to do with his big winnings. He plans to pay off some debt, purchase a new truck, and enjoy some fishing in his retirement.
Smith remains unsure about when he will purchase another Powerball ticket.
“I’m not sure if I’ll be lucky enough to have lightning strike twice,” Smith said. “But then again, you never know when that lucky feeling is going to hit you.”
Players still have plenty of time to purchase tickets for tonight’s drawing. Lottery retailers throughout the state are selling Powerball tickets for the drawing until 9:45 p.m. Wednesday. Tonight’s jackpot is $50 million.
Powerball plays may be purchased for $2 each at Lottery retailers across the state. A “Power Play” option that multiplies non-jackpot prizes by up to five times may be added to any Powerball play for only $1.
The Powerball drawing takes place at 10:59 p.m. and may be watched live on the Lottery’s network of stations: WBKB-TV 11 (CBS), WDIV-TV 4 (NBC), WNEM-TV 5 (CBS), WXSP-TV (MyNetwork TV), WLAJ-TV 53 (ABC), WLUC-TV 6 (NBC/FOX) and WGTU-TV 29/WGTQ-TV 8 (ABC). Additionally, the drawing may be watched online at: http://www.powerballlive.com/powerball.