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Decorah Man Claims $2 Million Powerball® Prize From Saturday Drawing

Don Johnson Purchased His Winning Ticket At Decorah C-Store

Don Johnson   Hear Don tell his story.

DES MOINES, Iowa - A Decorah grandfather stepped forward Wednesday to claim a $2 million Powerball prize and knew exactly what he would do with the winnings.

"It will pay for everything at the nursing home," Don Johnson said as he claimed his prize. "That takes care of a huge bill, yes it does. That's the main thing."

Johnson, 80, explained that his wife of nearly 50 years, Shirley, is a nursing home resident and he is happy he can dedicate his winnings to her care.

"Let's get the check and go!" he said with a laugh.

The jackpot-winning ticket in Saturday's $131.5 million Powerball drawing was sold in Pennsylvania, while Johnson bought the only ticket in the country that won a $2 million prize that night. The jackpot-winning ticket has yet to be claimed.

Johnson's ticket came ever so close to having a share of the jackpot, matching the first five numbers but missing the Powerball. But because he also had added the Power Play to his easy-pick ticket, his prize multiplied to $2 million.

Johnson, who is retired after owning a bar for a number of years, said he is not a regular Powerball player. He and a buddy play Hot Lotto® together, but on Saturday, he decided to buy an easy-pick Powerball ticket with money his daughter had given him as a Father's Day gift.

"I don't usually buy Powerball that much," Johnson said. "I just bought it before the storm started in that day. I thought I might as well go out and do something for a little bit."

Johnson bought his $2 million-winning ticket at Casey's, 401 College Drive in Decorah. The winning numbers in Saturday's Powerball drawing were 13-19-23-33-57 and Powerball 28.

Casey's will receive a $2,000 bonus from the lottery for the $2 million-winning ticket being sold at its Decorah store.

Johnson, who wryly states that he's the original Don Johnson - never mind the actor by the same name - said that winning a large lottery prize won't change his life. He's just waiting to win the Hot Lotto jackpot with his buddy.

"I'm coming back to claim the jackpot in that game," he said.

A total of 7,904 tickets purchased by Iowa Lottery players won prizes ranging from $4 up to $2 million in Saturday's drawing.

Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich said that Iowa is having another banner year in Powerball.

"We had predicted that the $2 Powerball game would deliver more millionaires, and it's exciting to see that happening," Rich said.

When $2 Powerball began in January 2012, the game's starting jackpot doubled to $40 million and the jackpot became easier to win. But perhaps the most important change for Johnson is that the game's second prize for matching the first five numbers increased from $200,000 to the current $1 million cash, which multiplies to $2 million with the Power Play.

A southeast Iowa man became Iowa's first $2 million Powerball winner back in March. Michael Lally of Barnes City matched the first five numbers in the March 23 Powerball drawing and had added the Power Play to his ticket, so he won a $2 million prize.

The Powerball jackpot returns to $40 million for Wednesday's drawing.

Players in $2 Powerball 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 an extra $1 per play.

Prize: $2 million cash  
Federal Withholding: $500,000  
State Withholding: $100,000  
Net Amount: $1.4 million  

 

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