A Des Moines, Iowa player has become the state’s second Powerball® millionaire in two weeks.
So get thee to Iowa, players.
Gary Higens claimed his $1 million prize in Des Moines.
Higens, 54, a manager at Florist Distributing in Des Moines, which supplies plants and flowers to Hy-Vee stores, admitted he was shaking a little at the unexpected news when his wife called him at work.
“After she told me, I thought about it, I made sure she wasn’t playing a practical joke on me, and it was hard to comprehend,” he said. “She was shaking, she was very uncalm. I was trying to do my daily business, which wasn’t working very well for me. I finished what I knew I had to get done and then I told everyone I’d be gone for a little while.”
Higens’ ticket came close to winning it all, matching the first five numbers but missing the Powerball.
“Is Powerball over-performing in Iowa?” Lottery CEO Terry Rich asked Thursday. “Nope, Iowans are just lucky. This is exactly what we expected to see with the debut of $2 Powerball.”
Higens said Powerball is the only lottery game that he and his wife, Patricia, play and they buy one ticket for each drawing. They choose their own numbers this way: 1 is Patricia’s birthday; 4 is their son’s birthday; 11 is Gary’s birthday; 23 is their daughter’s birthday; 26 is Gary and Patricia’s wedding anniversary; and 8 is Patricia’s lucky number.
Higens joked that his wife may need to choose a new lucky number now, since it was the only number that wasn’t selected in the drawing. He said that they plan to do some remodeling on their house, invest for retirement and help out their grown children.
“We’ll start from the top and work our way down,” he said. “The house needs a new roof, so that’s something we can get done pretty quickly. We can stick some back and invest some of it, too. It will make things easier.”