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Another Big Ticket Unclaimed For Months, But This Time The Winner Takes Home The Prize

Ottumwa Man Claims $1 Million Powerball® Prize From Drawing In July

Jack Miletich   Hear Jack tell his story.

DES MOINES, Iowa - It's another lotto ticket that had won a big prize in Iowa but had lingered unclaimed for months. But unlike that headline-generating situation involving the claimed - and then unclaimed - Hot Lotto® jackpot in Des Moines, this time the lucky winner took home the money.

Jack Miletich of Ottumwa claimed a $1 million Powerball prize on Wednesday that he had won with a ticket purchased at an Ottumwa convenience store for the drawing back on July 23. Miletich, 62, who retired from John Deere after 30 years, explained that he had taken his time to make legal arrangements so that his winnings will benefit his children.

"I'm going to pay some bills I've had for a while, I'm in the process of fixing up my Jeep and I'm going to start a trust for my kids to help them pay off student loans," Miletich said as he claimed his prize at lottery headquarters in Des Moines.

Miletich is no stranger to lottery winnings and said he enjoys playing lotto games for entertainment. In the past, he's matched four numbers in Iowa's $100,000 Cash Game and even won $1,000 on a scratch ticket; but he said nothing comes close to what he felt when he discovered he was a millionaire.

"It's just an incredible feeling," Miletich said.

Miletich discovered he was the winner just two days after the drawing, and had some fun telling his family.

"My daughter in Iowa City said she just had to come home to make sure I was telling the truth," Miletich said with a laugh.

Miletich bought his $1 million-winning ticket at Kum & Go, 1317 E. Mary St. in Ottumwa. At the time, the way that he won a $1 million prize in Powerball was by adding the Power Play to his ticket and then matching the first five numbers but missing the Powerball in the drawing. His initial prize of $200,000 was multiplied to $1 million with the Power Play.

When $2 Powerball debuted in January, the game's "second prize" that was $200,000 became $1 million cash, and Iowa has since had two million-dollar winners.

The winning numbers in the July 23 Powerball jackpot drawing when Miletich won his big prize were: 1-7-27-38-48 and Powerball 30.

He predicts he'll see us again in the future.

"I'm good with numbers and I'm lucky, so I'm hoping to see you again in the next couple of years," he said.

Miletich's prize claim is in stark contrast to that involving a Hot Lotto ticket purchased in December 2010 in Des Moines that won a multi-million-dollar jackpot. With less than two hours to go before that big prize would have expired in December 2011, the winning ticket was turned in at the lottery by lawyers on behalf of a trust. A representative of the trust, after being unable to answer basic security questions about the ticket's purchase and history, later withdrew the claim. The prize ultimately went unclaimed and the Iowa Lottery will give away Iowa's share of the jackpot in a promotion this summer.

Players in today's $2 Powerball still choose their first five numbers from a pool of 59, but the group of numbers in the Powerball pool has shrunk from 39 to 35, producing better overall odds of winning a prize. The Power Play® option is still 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 44 lotteries across the country with drawings at 9:59 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays.