Press Room

Denison Man Wins Iowa's First $1 Million Mega Millions® Prize

Robert Boehm Claims Iowa's 12th $1 Million Lottery Prize Since 2008

Robert Boehm Robert Boehm poses with ceremonial check.
  Hear Robert tell his story.

DES MOINES, Iowa - A Denison man knew almost immediately that he'd won a $1 million lottery prize, but just kept right on working for several days. It's the busy time of year, he explained, and besides, he likes his job.

In fact, Robert Boehm said it was his boss at Charter Oak Ag Supply in Charter Oak who finally told him to take the time and claim his prize. So on Tuesday morning, Boehm and a couple of his friends made it to lottery headquarters in Des Moines so he could claim his $1 million Mega Millions® prize.

Boehm, 60, said he works long hours hauling fertilizer, but in the midst of his work on April 10, he stopped at the convenience store where he'd bought his Mega Millions tickets to see if he'd won anything. The lottery had already called the store to let staff there know that a $1 million-winning ticket had been sold at their location.

"I thought, 'Well, it won't be me,'" Boehm said with a smile. "I had two tickets. The first one wasn't a winner. The second one went through and she look down, then she looked up at me and she said, 'We don't have enough money here.' And she said, 'What do you think you won?' I said, 'Probably a couple thousand.' She said, 'No, you won $1 million!'"

Boehm bought his $1 million-winning ticket at Kum & Go, 1109 Fourth Ave. S. in Denison. He originally matched the first five numbers but missed the Mega Ball to win a $250,000 prize. But Boehm also had added the Megaplier® option to his winning play, which multiplied his prize to $1 million.

The winning numbers in the $90 million Mega Millions jackpot drawing on April 9 were: 15-18-39-48-53 and Mega Ball 3. The Megaplier® number was 4. The jackpot has continued to grow since that time, reaching an estimated $143 million for Tuesday's drawing.

Players can multiply their prizes (except the jackpot) with the Megaplier up to four times. The cost is $1 per play.

Boehm said he initially thought the store clerk was playing an April Fool's joke on him a few days late.

"She said, 'No, really. It's the honest truth!'" he said.

From there, word spread quickly. Boehm said that one of his nieces works at the local newspaper and soon learned of the story, so he made headlines before ever claiming the prize.

"I said I would do it as soon as it rains, but finally the boss said, 'You'd better get it taken care of,'" he said.

While he waited, Boehm kept his winning ticket in an envelope he labeled, "Winning lottery ticket." He still had the envelope with him on Tuesday.

"I wrote on it so I wouldn't throw it away!" he said.

Boehm, who is single, joked that he may be Denison's most eligible bachelor.

"That's what I'm hoping," he said with a laugh.

Powerball and Mega Millions are both lotto games with jackpot prizes that have climbed into the hundreds of millions of dollars. Until recently, the games had been sold by separate groups of lotteries, but many states, including Iowa, began selling tickets in both games in January.

Boehm won the first $1 million Mega Millions prize in Iowa since the game's start here. It is the 12th $1 million-winning lottery ticket purchased in Iowa since 2008.

Boehm also is the second Denison resident to win a major Iowa Lottery prize. Don Sporrer of Denison won a $2.7 million Hot Lotto jackpot in the drawing on Christmas Day 2002 with a ticket he purchased at a Denison supermarket.

Boehm said he plans to invest most of his winnings for retirement, but his immediate plans are to take his siblings, nieces and nephews on a family trip to Germany. He once was stationed there while serving in the U.S. Army and enjoyed his years abroad.

"I told them all, 'When I win the big one, I'll take you on a trip,'" he said. "So, we're going to go!"

Prize: $1 million
Federal Withholding: $250,000
State Withholding: $50,000
Net: $700,000