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Coralville Man Claims $1 Million Powerball® Prize

Prize From Wednesday's Drawing Is Fifth In Iowa Of At Least $1 Million This Year

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CLIVE, Iowa - A Coralville man admits he's always fantasized about what it would be like to win the lottery - and now he knows. Jeff Tomlinson Jr. claimed a $1 million Powerball prize on Friday.

"I didn't really consider it a possibility, it was more of a fantasy of what would I do if I won," Tomlinson said as he claimed his prize at lottery headquarters in Clive. "But I want to make sure that my family is well taken care of - now, in the future. Even my daughter, I want to make sure that she's good for college and the future."

Tomlinson, 32, an electronics technician at Rockwell Collins in Coralville who also attends Kirkwood Community College while working towards an engineering degree, said he regularly stops at Kum & Go in North Liberty where he bought his winning ticket because it is near where he lives and takes his 3-year-old daughter to daycare.

He found out he'd won big when he stopped at the store Friday morning and they told him to check his tickets because someone had bought a ticket there that won a $1 million prize. He went out to his car and looked up the winning numbers from Wednesday's Powerball drawing on his mobile phone, then took his ticket right back into the store.

"As soon as I signed it, they scanned it," he said. "We all took pictures of my ticket with the receipt and all that. Everybody was excited. I was tearing up and shaking in the middle of the store. I just could not believe it."

Tomlinson said he decided to claim the prize right away because he didn't want to chance something happening to his winning ticket. He called work and took a vacation day and called his wife, Jolene, who was already at her job.

"I think she's still in shock about the whole thing," he said. "She asked me repeatedly, 'Are you kidding?'"

Tomlinson bought his winning ticket at Kum & Go, 610 N. Kansas Ave. in North Liberty. He came within one number of having at least a share of Wednesday's $80 million jackpot. His ticket matched the first five numbers but missed the Powerball to win a $1 million prize. It was the only ticket in the country that won a $1 million prize Wednesday.

Wednesday's winning numbers were: 8-18-27-29-60 and Powerball 15. The Power Play® number was 2. No one matched all six numbers to win the jackpot, so the big prize climbs to an estimated $91 million annuity ($62.7 million cash option) for Saturday.

Kum & Go will receive a $1,000 bonus from the Iowa Lottery for selling the $1 million-winning ticket at one of its stores.

Tomlinson has some concrete plans for his winnings.

"I plan on paying off all of my bills - the house, my wife's car, my student loans," he said. "And then the money that is left over, I'm going to build the house that we really want, sell our current house and then part of the money from that is going to go into a college fund for my daughter. And everything else is going to go into a CD for emergencies."

Tomlinson said that his winning ticket was an easy-pick play, his usual choice.

"I just leave it up to the universe," he said. "Life is a matter of luck, it's just how you roll the dice. That's all it is."

Tomlinson's ticket is the fifth ticket in Iowa to win at least $1 million this year. A $2 million prize, won with a ticket purchased in Cedar Rapids for the Powerball drawing on July 16, remains unclaimed. Powerball prizes won in Iowa must be claimed within 365 days of the drawing for which they were eligible.

Players in $2 Powerball choose their first five numbers from a pool of 69, and another number - called the Powerball - from a separate pool of 26. The Power Play option is available for an extra $1 per play.

Since getting its start in April 1992 in 15 states with jackpots that started at a guaranteed $2 million, Powerball has grown into one of the world's biggest and most recognizable lottery games. Today Powerball is played by 47 lotteries across the country with drawings at 9:59 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

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