Powerball Winner Hugh Hawkins, from Des Moines, Iowa has gone from being in financial difficulties to multi-millionaire overnight.
Hawkins won the Powerball Lottery jackpot on 14th December 2005 with the winning numbers 8 15 16 45 51 and a Powerball of 11. Hawkins Powerball prize is $113.2 and he has opted to take the cash payout of $54,799,833.72.
ConAgra Foods workers won $365 million in 2006 and also chose the cash option.
Hugh Hawkins waited nineteen days before he came forward as the winner. He said he wanted to spend the holidays with his family and think carefully about how to spend his Powerball prize before telling the world about his good fortune. Hawkins was also told by his financial advisers to wait until the new tax year, so that he won’t have to pay the $16.4 million tax bill on his Powerball lottery winnings until December 2006.
Another example of winners who wanted to get financial advice regarding their win were Thomas and Kathleen Morris when they won $228.9 million in 2011.
On 14th December, Hawkins’ wife Cindy Schumacher, asked him to go and buy some groceries at the local convenience store, Dahl’s, 1819 Beaver Avenue, Des Moines. Hawkins decided to play Powerball, choosing birthday numbers and numbers that were special to him. He was away on business the night of the drawing and didn’t look at the Powerball results at all.
On 18th December, Hawkins, aged 44, went into Dahl’s again and saw a banner which told him the ticket with the winning Powerball numbers had been sold at their store. Hawkins decided to put his 5 $1 tickets through to see if he had won the Powerball prize. “Well, it was a match,” Hawkins said, “And I haven’t slept in two and a half weeks. I spent the first week, scratching my head and giggling.”
The cashier in the shop, who gave Hawkins the Powerball results, said he went rather pale and then they hurriedly ushered him out of the rear entrance.
Schumacher was going to Ackley that day for her mother’s birthday party and Hawkins deliberately didn’t tell her about the Powerball lottery win until she returned that evening as he didn’t want her to be distracted while driving. On her return that evening, Hawkins quietly told Schumacher that he had won the Powerball jackpot. “I kept saying, ‘What? What.’”, she said, “ I didn’t cry and jump and scream. I kind of went still. It was a shock.”
Hawkins and Schumacher have two children, Katie, aged 3 and Alex aged 6. Hawkins also has a son from his first marriage, Colby who is 12, but doesn’t live with his father. The couple live in a modest $125,000 house on 34th Street in Des Moines. However, they no longer live there.
They quietly moved out, apparently not even taking time to take down the Christmas decorations and they have permanently disconnected their phone. They are determined that long lost family and friends aren’t going to turn up on their door step.
Hawkins filed for bankruptcy in the middle of 2005. Between him and his wife, they had $250 in the bank and $87,000 of credit card debt. Hawkins told reporters,
“Back in May 2005, we ran out of money and I needed to file for bankruptcy protection from four credit card companies, and now, today we have a big pile of money.”
Hawkins said he intends to share some of the Powerball lottery money with his family. He only has one brother, but his wife has seven brothers and seven sisters. They also intend to buy a puppy and immediately settle all outstanding debts, including repaying the credit card debt which was written off.
Hawkins also said, “And there’s definitely some luxury vacations in our future.” The family’s last holiday was in 2002, so they are looking forward to relaxing in style.
Kevin Carlson won $71.5 million in 2013 and a luxury holiday for him and his wife was high on his list as well.
At the cheque presentation, Hawkins said, “We view this Powerball winning as a tremendous opportunity and a tremendous responsibility. We believe it provides us with the opportunity to do things we would not have been able to do without this financial security – but more importantly, we believe there is a great responsibility which comes with this winning.
“We will work to manage this winning in a way that is respectful, and ultimately in a way that creates good,” Hawkins continued. “We will be providing money to the Greater Des Moines Foundation and the Omaha Community Foundation, so that non-profit, start-up, and in-need organisations can apply for funding through those channels.”
Hawkins works for Metro Engineers of Omaha, which is a commercial real estate investment company. He does not intend on giving up work despite his new found fortune thanks to his winning Powerball numbers, but says he will not be working 100 hours weeks any more.
If you want to check your own numbers then you can visit our Powerball results checker to do so.