Oops! Couple realizes $1,000 prize is actually $1 million
Cindy Ooley and her husband, Steve, took a trip to Hoosier Lottery headquarters for what they thought was a $1,000 winning ticket. Instead, they went home with a $1,000,000.
Hoosier Lottery officials began interviewing Cindy about her win, which is standard procedure for a prize of that amount. Then Steve looked down at the table, where there was a ceremonial big check. Cindy was mid-conversation when Steve realized what the check said. He interrupted.
“That’s not $1,000,” Steve said.
The check in front of Steve and Cindy had six zeroes, not three. Hoosier Lottery officials explained to Cindy and Steve that they won $1 million.
“This is nuts. This is crazy,” Steve said.
A look of shock entered the couple’s eyes, then realization. Cindy and Steve immediately called the bank. This wasn’t the small transaction the couple originally expected.
“We’re not going to have to watch things quite as closely,” Cindy said.
Before the excitement of a $1 million prize, Cindy was at home clearing out a desk drawer when she found old Powerball tickets. She checked to see if she had any winners. When she reviewed the Powerball ticket from the Sept. 23, 2017 drawing, she told Steve she had a $1,000 winner and they should drive to Indianapolis to claim it. Neither realized the true prize amount until they saw the ceremonial check.
With little time to react to the news, Cindy and Steve were unsure what their plans would be for the $1 million prize.
Group of 10 coworkers claim $200,000 Powerball prize
A tradition of playing Powerball together led a group of ten co-workers to a $200,000 lottery win.
“We’ve been playing the Powerball every week for the last three years,” Ronald Lute of Lincolnton said. “We each pitch in $10 and get our tickets.”
So on Saturday, Jan. 20, Lute stopped by Bob’s Superette in Lincolnton and got tickets for the Ethan Allen employees.
Dale Hedrick ofNewton was the first one to r
ealize they had a winning ticket. “I checked my phone Sunday morning,” Hedrick said. “I just kept looking at the numbers. I looked at them so many times, I memorized them.”
He immediately called Lute to tell him, but he didn’t answer. So Hedrick called Anthony Rowe of Conover instead.
“I couldn’t believe we actually won something after playing all these years,” Rowe said.
Eric Dellinger of Lincoln was the last to find out. He didn’t learn about the win until three days later.
“I was on vacation,” Dellinger explained. “I didn’t answer my phone because I thought it was work. I couldn’t believe it when I finally found out. It’s exciting.”
Dennis Setzer Jr. of Sherrills Ford, Roger Smith from Lincoln, Matthew Hedrick from Catawba, Randy Jones from Lincolnton, Randy Heavner from Lincolnton, and Johnny Moss from Newton are the other co-workers to win. They claimed their prize Friday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. After required state and federal tax withholdings, they each took home $14,100. They all say they plan to save the money or use it to pay bills.
The winning ticket matched the numbers on the four white balls and the Powerball to win $50,000. Because the ticket had the $1 Power Play feature, the prize quadrupled to $200,000 when the 4X multiplier was drawn. Just because they won, the group doesn’t
plan to stop playing.
“We already have our tickets for Saturday’s drawing,” Lute said. “We’re going to play until we match one more number.”
Kansas man becomes a millionaire overnight!
Kansas’ newest millionaire is Richard Van Tuyl, Jr. of Leavenworth who recently claimed a Powerball ticket worth $1,000,000!
Van Tuyl’s $2 Quick Pick ticket matched the first five numbers, but not the Powerball, in the Wednesday, January 24 drawing.
“I thank the Good Lord for what I won,” said the 59-year-old winner with a laugh.
Van Tuyl described himself as an occasional player. He said he may get a ticket for every Powerball drawing for a few weeks, and then not play at all for two or three months.
“I do get almost daily inspiration, though,” disclosed the big winner. “Every day when I drive from Leavenworth to my work in Kansas City, I drive right by the big Kansas Lottery jackpot billboard!”
Van Tuyl was inspired enough to stop at a convenience store that Wednesday night to get a Powerball ticket after going out for dinner.
“I put the ticket in my sun visor, parked the truck in the garage, and slept great that night. Didn’t give it another thought,” he said.
“The next day I pulled up the Powerball numbers from the night before on my phone, and there I am, holding my phone in one hand and my ticket in the other. My eyes were saying ‘yes,’ but my brain was saying ‘no.'”
After returning to the store where he bought the ticket and having the clerk print out the winning numbers and then consulting his sister, he was finally convinced he really had won a $1,000,000 prize.
“I signed the back of the ticket right away, put it in an envelope, and put it back in the sun visor of my truck,” said Van Tuyl. “When I got home, however, I did bring it in the house. I was afraid my truck might catch on fire or something.”
Van Tuyl works for a construction company in the Kansas City area and is also involved in his family’s farming operation near Leavenworth. He and his wife Tammy have two grown children and four grandchildren.
“I’m going to pay bills, pay off my house and put the rest in the bank for now,” the lucky winner said.