Local News

March 25, 2013

Michael Lally of Barnes City wins $2 million Powerball prize

DES MOINES — A Mahaska County man said several pieces of luck came together for him to win a $2 million Powerball prize.

He was on his way  to his mother’s 59th birthday party, so he was traveling Saturday on a different street than usual. And his son had borrowed his car the day before, so he stopped for gas at a different convenience store than he normally visits.

“Do away with all the problems I had yesterday and now I get a new set today,” Michael Lally, of Barnes City, said with a chuckle as he claimed his  $2 million prize Monday at Iowa Lottery headquarters in Des Moines. “And that’s OK!”

The jackpot-winning ticket in Saturday’s $338.3 million Powerball drawing was sold in New Jersey, while Lally bought the only ticket in the country that won a $2 million prize that night. The jackpot-winning ticket has yet to be claimed.

Lally’s ticket came close to having a share of the jackpot, matching the first five numbers but missing the Powerball. But he also added the Power Play to his easy-pick ticket, which multiplied the prize to $2 million.

Lally’s explanation for why he adds the Power Play to his tickets: “Even if you don’t  win big, you still win better than if you just bought regular,” he said. “Sometimes it means the difference between winning $25 and $50. I’ve always gotten in that habit and that’s just how I’ve done it. It really paid off this time.”

Lally bought his $2 million-winning ticket at Kum & Go, 1201 N. Market St. in Oskaloosa. The winning numbers in Saturday’s Powerball drawing were 17-29-31-52-53 and Powerball 31.

Kum & Go will receive a $2,000 bonus from the lottery for the $2 million-winning ticket being sold at its Oskaloosa store.

Lally, 38, who works for Kitzman Construction in Gibson, said he helped a friend work on that friend’s truck on Sunday, so he didn’t hear anything about a winning ticket being sold in Oskaloosa until Monday morning. He was plowing snow early Monday in What Cheer when he decided to stop a convenience store and check his ticket. He said that at first, he joked around with the clerk.

“I said, ‘Maybe I won the $2 million,’” Lally recalled. “And she goes, ‘Oh, dream on.’ And the machine went ‘Woo-hoo!’ And I thought, ‘Well, maybe I won $50 or something.’

“And she paused and she held it up and my hands started shaking and I thought, ‘Oh, this can’t be happening,’” he said. “But it was.”

Lally said that his son, Tyler, is a junior in high school, so his lottery winnings will help pay for Tyler’s college education. He also will put  a lot away for retirement. A new vehicle is in his future, and he plans to continue working at Kitzman Construction.

“It’s like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders,” he said.

Lally’s brother, Jerad Lally of Des Moines, and his boss, Brian Kitzman of Gibson, accompanied him as he claimed his prize.

A total of 34,714 tickets purchased by Iowa Lottery players won prizes ranging from $4 up to $2 million in Saturday’s drawing.

Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich said that Iowa is having another banner year in Powerball.

“The $2 Powerball game is definitely producing more millionaires,” Rich said. “It’s exciting to be changing so many lives.”

When $2 Powerball began in January 2012, the game’s starting jackpot doubled to $40 million and the jackpot became easier to win. But perhaps the most important change for Lally is that the game’s second prize for matching the first five numbers increased from $200,000 to the current $1 million cash, which multiplies to $2 million with the Power Play.

Four tickets sold in Iowa each won a $10,000 prize in Saturday’s drawing by matching four of the first five numbers and the Powerball. They were purchased at:

• Bucky’s Express, 15 N. 16th St in Council Bluffs.

• Casey’s, 201 Madison Ave. in Donnellson.

• Slagle Foods, 6723 Northwest Blvd. in Davenport.

• Quik Trip, 2300 E. 14th St. in Des Moines.

The Powerball jackpot returns to $40 million for Wednesday’s drawing.

Players in $2 Powerball choose their first five numbers from a pool of 59, but the group of numbers in the Powerball pool has shrunk from 39 to 35, producing better overall odds of winning a prize. The Power Play® option is an extra $1 per play.

Since the Iowa Lottery’s start in 1985, its players have won more than $3 billion in prizes while the lottery has raised more than $1.4 billion for state programs.

Today, lottery proceeds in Iowa have three main purposes: They provide support for veterans, help for a variety of significant projects through the state General Fund, and backing for the Vision Iowa program, which was implemented to create tourism destinations and community attractions in the state and build and repair schools.

Prize: $2 million cash

Federal Withholding: $500,000

State Withholding: $100,000

Net Amount: $1.4 million

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