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Marion Man Claims $1 Million Powerball® Prize

Eric Shaffer Won Prize In Wednesday Drawing

Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich and Eric Shaffer Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich with Eric Shaffer, Iowa's newest millionaire.
  Hear Eric tell his story.

DES MOINES, Iowa - A Marion man admits he was a little miffed on Thursday about his Powerball winnings.

Eric Shaffer said he knew he'd won a big Powerball prize, but was a tad upset that the Power Play® number in Wednesday's drawing was only 2, so his prize wouldn't be multiplied as much as some have been in other drawings.

But he was wrong.

"I was actually a little mad because I wanted the multiplier to be higher," he said with a chuckle on Thursday as he claimed his $1 million Powerball prize at lottery headquarters in Des Moines. "I didn't realize until I got to the store that the prize was bigger than I thought."

Shaffer, 48, an electronics sales representative for Tecrep in Chicago, bought his $1 million-winning ticket at Casey's convenience store at 588 Boyson Road N.E. in Cedar Rapids. It's his regular stop for coffee and a newspaper on his way to work.

Shaffer's ticket came close to winning Wednesday's $39.5 million jackpot, matching the first five numbers but missing the Powerball® to win a $200,000 prize. But he made the decision to spend an extra $1 to add the Power Play option to his winning play, which then multiplied his prize to $1 million.

If your ticket matches the first five numbers in a Powerball drawing and you've added the Power Play, the prize you'll win is always $1 million, no matter what the Power Play number is for that drawing.

When Shaffer stopped Thursday morning at the Casey's store, the manager was on the telephone with a lottery staffer who was explaining that the store had sold a $1 million-winning ticket.

"I said, 'I've got $400,000, you actually sold two big winners for last night?'" he recalled. "She asked to see my ticket and I said, 'OK, run it through.' She goes, 'How much do you think you won?' I said, 'I think it's $400,000 - it was $200,000 times the multiplier, which was two.' She said, 'No, you won $1 million.' And all the people in the store were just jumping up and down for me, too."

Shaffer's ticket was one of two nationwide to win a $1 million prize in Wednesday's drawing. The other was sold in Tennessee.

Nine lottery tickets purchased in Iowa have won prizes of $1 million since January 2010. And Shaffer is Marion's second $1 million Powerball winner in recent years. In December 2008, Clyde and Susan Hendricks of Marion also won a $1 million Powerball prize. They bought their winning ticket while out looking at holiday lights with friends.

Shaffer said he's played the same lottery numbers for years.

"I think when I originally chose my numbers, I put numbers on a piece of paper and put them in a bag to fill out my card for the very first time and I just picked them out like you guys do every night on TV," he said. "And my numbers finally came up!"

Shaffer said he and his wife have two young children, so some of his lottery winnings will go towards their college education. He said he also plans to put some of the money away for retirement and he'll buy his wife a new car.

The winning numbers in Wednesday's Powerball drawing were: 12-20-28-40-48 and Powerball 8. The Power Play number was 2. Nobody won the jackpot that night, so it climbed to an estimated $54 million for Saturday's drawing.

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