Powerball Winner Paul McDowell of Ravenna in Texas visited Texas Lottery headquarters in Austin to claim a $40 million jackpot from the 29th May 2013 Powerball results draw. McDowell’s Powerball Quick Pick ticket was the only ticket sold to match all five numbers drawn which were 9, 14, 17, 49 and 57 with the Powerball number 2. McDowell chose the cash option for his Powerball jackpot , which meant that the amount he would take home was $24,906,600 before taxes.
It was the first Powerball jackpot claimed in Texas since the Texas Lottery joined the multi-state game back in 2010.
McDowell decided to play Powerball on the way home from work and bought his Quick Pick ticket at the Lone Star Food Store, better known as “On the Run”, on West Bells Boulevard in nearby Bells. The store became eligible for a $400,000 retailer bonus as stores that sell winning tickets receive a one percent commission of the advertised jackpot. “It was pretty exciting to wake up to,” store manager Larry Janning said. An employee at the store, Chris Turner, said that lottery players from across the state had been making a special trip to Lone Star to try their luck after hearing about McDowells lucky Quick Pick Powerball numbers being bought from there.
Bill Douglass, who owns a chain of the stores, said the bonus would be going mostly to healthcare costs for his employees. Douglass said “it’s a once in a lifetime event, so we’re excited for the people in Bells, and that’s why we’re throwing the party.” He added that he’d be paying $10,000 towards a new pavilion for the park in Bells, and that some employees would also get a bonus. The customer appreciation party included food and refreshments, a cake featuring the winning Powerball Quick Pick numbers, as well as entertainment including a balloon animal maker and bouncy castle for the town’s children.
Another store which profited from a Powerball win was the one which sold Christopher McGurran his $50 million winning ticket in December 2012 and received a $25,000 bonus.
Mr McDowell requested minimal publicity from the lottery authorities. Ravenna is a tiny place about 80 miles north of Texas, with a population of just over 200 people. The Powerball lottery winner had lived there all his life and said “we’re just easy going people up here, everybody is.”
Some Powerball winners choose to be even more private, such as a May 2013 winner of over $10 million who had her jackpot accepted by The Williams Trust on behalf of herself.
The 54-year-old said “I’m going to retire here in the morning. I’m going to take my uniforms in and stuff in the morning and retire, quit, whatever you do,” he said. “Might buy a few cows, a couple of tractors and a new car. That ought to do it,” he added.
Rosa DeLeon and Reginald LeBlanc won $50 million in December 2012 and both chose to retire once they had received their Powerball jackpot money.
Sometime later, John Henard, a friend of the Powerball lottery winner, said that not too much had changed since the big win. McDowell quit his job with Waste Management, and bought a few new cars and a backhoe, which he used to help out his neighbours. Henard also told the press that he and McDowell walk two miles together every morning, and that McDowell is using his Powerball jackpot money on “just spending a bit here and there, on things that he could really use.”
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