Esteban and Linda Ramos Anxiously Waited Through Holiday Weekend To Claim Prize
DES MOINES, Iowa - A Quad-Cities man said the shock of winning a $1 million Powerball prize moved him to tears, but his wife had an even bigger reaction.
Esteban and Linda Ramos of East Moline, Ill., claimed their $1 million prize Monday at lottery headquarters in Des Moines.
Esteban Ramos said he went to the convenience store where he'd bought the winning ticket to have it checked and he began to think he really might be the big winner.
"I went outside in my truck and started to check the numbers and I saw the ticket and I started to cry," he said.
When he got home, he gave his lottery tickets to his wife, Linda, without telling her the big news and asked her to look them over. The first ticket was a $12 winner. And when she got to the big winner, Linda fell over backwards - literally.
"I was preparing for Thanksgiving and I started to head towards our kitchen and I looked down at the ticket and realized that we had the numbers," said Linda, 47, who works as a dispatcher for a school bus company. "At first I thought I was seeing things and I just felt really dizzy and like the room was spinning and I fell over backwards.
"I couldn't stop crying and I couldn't talk. I couldn't believe it," she said. "When I finally did, I yelled really loud, 'Oh my gosh, it was us! We won!'"
The couple soon realized that the lottery's offices would be closed for two days for the Thanksgiving holiday, so they spent a long holiday weekend anxiously waiting to be able to claim their big prize. They said it made the holiday that much more special with their families.
Esteban Ramos, 54, a machine operator at Production Cutting Services in East Moline, bought the couple's winning ticket at QC Mart, 1402 State St. in Bettendorf. The ticket originally matched the first five numbers but missed the Powerball to win a $200,000 prize in Saturday's drawing. But Esteban also had added the Power Play® option to the winning play, which multiplied the 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.
The winning numbers in the Nov. 19 Powerball jackpot drawing were: 9-16-17-28-30 and Powerball 11. The Power Play number was 3.
The Ramos' ticket is the ninth lottery prize of at least $1 million won in Iowa this year.
"What a great time of the year to win such a big prize," Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich said Monday as he presented the couple with their big prize. "It definitely gets your holidays going with a bang!"
The couple said they plan to pay bills, plan for retirement, help their families and make some donations to charities they already support.
"He's very big hearted and just excited about winning. We're going to live comfortably," Linda Ramos said. "Our life is going to be easier now. We're just very thankful."
One of their immediate plans is to take the very youngest members of their extended families to a "Disney On Ice" production this week.
"They don't know that yet, but that's where they're going!" Linda said with a laugh.