Iowa's Streak Of Big Winners Continues With Mark Evans' Claim
DES MOINES, Iowa - A Des Moines man kept Iowa's lottery winning streak going as he claimed a $1 million Powerball prize Wednesday.
Mark Evans of Des Moines admitted that he left what turned out to be a big winning ticket at home for a couple weeks before he ever checked it.
"I picked it up maybe three times and looked at it," he said. "I thought, 'No that can't be,' and I just put it right back on my dresser."
Evans won his $1 million prize with an easy-pick ticket he purchased on Des Moines' south side for the Sept. 19 Powerball drawing. His winning ticket was one of four sold in Iowa that won Powerball prizes of at least $1 million in September alone. And, Iowa players have won a total of 10 prizes of at least $1 million so far this year in the lottery's games overall.
Evans' $1 million-winning ticket came close to winning it all in the Sept. 19 drawing, matching the first five numbers but missing the Powerball. He bought his ticket at Dahl's, 4121 Fleur Dr. in Des Moines. The winning numbers in the $152.1 million Powerball drawing that night were: 1-5-8-39-50 and Powerball 23.
Evans said that in the days following the drawing, he went back to the Dahl's store and kept hearing that the big prize hadn't been claimed. Finally, he logged onto the lottery's website to check the numbers.
"I looked at them and I thought, 'Those first three numbers look really familiar,'" he said. "So I went and got the ticket and brought it in and sure enough: I was the $1 million winner! And I was shocked."
But he said it still took some time to sink in.
"I looked at the ticket, I looked at the date, I looked at the place it was bought, I looked at the numbers again, I looked at the web page to make sure it was an Iowa Powerball and not someplace else," Evans said. "Things like this just don't happen to me. But they did now."
Evans, 51, who works as an audio-visual coordinator at CBRE in Des Moines, said that as soon as he realized he'd won a big prize, he treated his ticket with more respect, signing it and putting it in a safe-deposit box. Then he spoke with financial advisers to make plans for his winnings. He'll invest his prize money and has a few small purchases in mind, such as a new TV, repairs to his truck or possibly a different used truck.
"I'll wait a month or so and just decide," he said. "I'm not going to go out and splurge on anything."
When $2 Powerball began in January, lottery officials predicted that the newly designed game would produce more millionaires. The new version of the game debuted Jan. 15, sporting several new features to give players more value. The game's starting jackpots have doubled to $40 million and the jackpot is now easier to win. But perhaps the most important change for Evans is that the game's second prize for matching the first five numbers but missing the Powerball has increased from $200,000 to the current $1 million cash.
Players in Adair, Council Bluffs, Des Moines, Ottumwa and Webster City also have claimed $1 million Powerball prizes this year, while a group of co-workers from the Quaker Oats plant in Cedar Rapids claimed a $241 million jackpot in June, and a Bondurant couple claimed a $202.1 million jackpot in the game earlier this month.
A $1 million Powerball prize won in Williamsburg with a ticket purchased for the Sept. 26 drawing remains unclaimed. Someone bought that ticket at Casey's General Store, 130 W. Evans St. in Williamsburg.
Players in $2 Powerball choose their first five numbers from a pool of 59, and another numbers called the Powerball from a separate pool of 35. The Power Play® option is available for an extra $1 per play.
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