University of Kansas employee wins Powerball prize

FILE - Powerball ticket in hand (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)
FILE - Powerball ticket in hand (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)

TOPEKA, Kansas – A 51-year-old Lawrence man who works for the University of Kansas is the Kansas Lottery’s newest millionaire, times two.

The lucky player, who asked the Lottery not to release his identity, matched the first five numbers in the May 17 Powerball drawing.

The winner had purchased the Power Play option, which doubled his Match 5 prize from $1,000,000 to $2,000,000.

“I play Power Play for just this reason,” said the savvy player. “If you do win, it more than pays for itself.”  The Power Play option, which costs an extra dollar per play, multiplies any prize won, except for the jackpot.

Not only does this Lawrence player always purchase the Power Play option, he makes sure he has a ticket for every Powerball drawing, something he’s done for eight years.

“I’m a positive person and I always felt like I’d win,” the winner told Lottery officials. “I thought about the people who’ve won and I thought, why not me?”

The winner said he always “mixes it up” – picking some numbers himself and letting the computer pick some. The winner’s $30 multi-draw ticket had five plays for two drawings. He picked two of the numbers himself, and three were Quick Picks. It was one of the Quick Picks that gave him his big win. The winning numbers in the May 17 drawing were 23-32-39-47-49 Powerball 22. The lucky winner had all numbers but the Powerball. He had 12 for a Powerball number instead of 22, missing the jackpot by just one digit.

“I’m going to continue to play,” said the winner, who along with other Kansas players will be vying for an estimated $192 million Powerball jackpot tomorrow night. “The best advice I can give other players is to play regularly and find an amount you can consistently and comfortably wager. If you have enough to play, why wouldn’t you?”

After checking his ticket the day after the May 17 drawing and realizing he had won $2,000,000, the winner signed the back of the ticket and kept it in his backpack until claiming it at Lottery headquarters.

“That backpack has gone everywhere with me,” said the happy winner.

The Lawrence winner, who is single, said he plans to invest the majority of his prize money and also do some traveling.

“There are parts of the Caribbean that will see my face,” he said.

The lucky Lawrence resident purchased his $2,000,000 Powerball Power Play ticket where he always buys his tickets – Dillons 70, located at 1015 W. 23rd Street in Lawrence. For selling the multi-million-dollar ticket, the store becomes eligible for a $1,000 bonus.

 

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