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Donald Lawson is sticking to the simple life after $337m Powerball win

Donald Lawson claimed a huge Powerball jackpot win of $337m in 2012. Since then, the Michigan winner has kept it simple.

powerball winner donald lawson big

When he won his prize in August 2012, Donald Lawson said that the simple life and a regular trip to MacDonald’s were all he needed to keep him happy. Although he won $337m on the Powerball, he was truthful about not needing much more.

A simple life and a cheap burger for Donald Lawson

Instead of splurging his jackpot, the lucky Michigan man told his entire family to retire. When he discovered his win, he immediately called his sister and told her to quit her job.

“She laughed and said: ‘Did you win the Lottery?’ and I said: ‘Yes!’”. She initially thought that he was joking with her.

After he played a different kind of trick on his mother, telling her that he’d won $200,000.

However, the joke was on him when she didn’t believe him. “Finally, I said: ‘Okay, I’ll tell you the truth. I won $337 million!’”. You can imagine his mother’s reaction!

The winning ticket was purchased from a Sunoco gas station in Lapeer, Michigan, Lawson’s hometown. He told lottery officials that he almost didn’t buy the Powerball ticket because there was a long line of players.

Changing his numbers really helped to change his life

He won thanks to his own choice of numbers, but they weren’t his regular choices. The regular player said that the numbers must have been sent specially for him.

The numbers 6 – 27 – 46 – 51 – 56 plus Powerball 2 popped into the Michigan man’s mind as he made his selection.

donald lawson powerball winner and his numbers

What next for Donald Lawson?

When he first won, Lawson told the Michigan Lottery that it was his daughter who told him a local ticket holder had won big. When he checked the winning Powerball numbers against his ticket, he said that he “couldn’t breathe.”

After checking his ticket twice, and then a few more times to be certain, Lawson began to come to terms with his big win.

The Michigan man, who told lottery officials that he was just a “hillbilly” who enjoyed the simple things in life, opted for a lump sum payment of $224.6m.

The former railroad worker celebrated by calling his boss and telling him he wouldn’t be in for the midnight shift. He followed up by admitting that he wouldn’t be back for any shift in the future.

Lawson stored his ticket in his bible

The winning ticket went into Lawson’s Bible for safekeeping. He said he thought about hiding it down the back of his sofa, or on top of the fridge, but eventually, he moved it to a bank safety deposit box.

Mr Lawson then claimed his prize at Michigan Lottery headquarters together with his mother and his sister. He told lottery officials that he had sat down and said a prayer when he first found out about his win.

Upon claiming his prize, he told Michigan Lottery officials that he wouldn’t let the Powerball jackpot change him at all. The lover of the simple life said he would always be just that – simple.

Donald Lawson and his daughters

Making plans for the future

He did admit that his newfound fortune would help to improve his living situation. He planned to take a trip away from his hometown to have a think about how to spend the money.

Keen to travel, the Powerball winner admitted to being a bit of a loner who didn’t like to make a fuss.

After the win, the father of two appeared to be looking for a new love to go along with his new fortune as a profile was spotted on

Since his win in 2012, Lawson has tried to stay out of the public eye. His name hasn’t been out of the press though. His win still stands as the largest in Michigan Powerball history.

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