OSAGE | Duane Hanson of Osage has played the same random numbers on Powerball “for years,” he said during a news conference at the Iowa Lottery offices in Des Moines on Thursday.
And, he said, he’ll keep playing them.
He should. Those numbers earned him a $2 million Powerball prize on Wednesday.
“They were just meaningless numbers,” he said during the news conference.
“They won’t be now,” quipped one reporter.
Hanson, 58, who works as a conductor for the Cedar River Railroad in Waterloo, purchased the ticket at Casey’s General Store on West Main Street in Osage.
He said he always knew he would win a big prize playing Powerball.
“It was just a matter of when … I just felt lucky,” he said.
He said he also won $6 on another game.
The money will come in handy, Hanson said, when he retires next year. He has always wanted an acreage in southern Iowa. He also has a 1955 truck he has been refurbishing “and this will help with that.”
He checked his numbers upon rising Thursday and found that his ticket matched five numbers but not the Powerball. Although his Internet search said he won $2 million, he went to Casey’s -- the same one where he purchased the ticket -- to make sure.
He scanned the ticket on a self-checker that customers can use and found himself being congratulated by the scanner for winning $2 million. He left the store without telling any of the staff but told family and co-workers his good news.
His daughter, Samantha Hanson, “was jumping up and down” and went with him to the Mason City office of the Iowa Lottery before being directed to the state Lottery office in Des Moines.
Hanson said he expects to find himself with more friends now and will get lots of phone calls.
“I’m thinking my phone will blow up,” he said with a chuckle.
Casey’s employees got their wish: They wanted the winner to be from Osage.
Clerk Lexi Adams said it was hard to concentrate Thursday after the announcement that someone had purchased the ticket in their store.
“It’s been an ‘off’ morning because it’s all you can think about," Adams said.
Store manager Stephanie Flugge agreed.
Flugge said she has worked for Casey’s for over a decade and doesn’t recall a win as big as this.
Casey’s will receive a $2,000 bonus from the lottery for the $2 million-winning ticket being sold at its Osage store. That was pretty exciting, too, said Flugge.
She said the funds will be funneled back into the Osage community in some fashion. She and Casey’s management will meet to decide on how the funds will be used.
The $2 million ticket was one of two nationwide that won a $2 million prize.
Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich said that Iowa is having another banner year when it comes to big winners.
“This is the fourth ticket purchased in Iowa to win a prize of at least $1 million this year -- and it’s the second just this month,” Rich said. “It's exciting to see another $2 million Powerball winner here in our state.”
The Osage ticket won Iowa’s third Powerball prize of $2 million. Men from Decorah and Barnes City each claimed a $2 million Powerball prize in 2013.
No one won the jackpot in Wednesday’s Powerball drawing, so the big prize increases to an estimated $90 million annuity ($54.9 million cash option) for Saturday's drawing.