LANSING (WWJ/AP) – The winner of a $337 million Powerball jackpot has stepped forward to claim his prize.
Donald Lawson of Lapeer, a 44-year-old father of two, claimed the prize during a news conference Friday in Lansing.
Michigan Lottery officials said Lawson, who until his win worked the midnight shift at a railroad company, elected to take the lump-sum cash option of $224.6 million.
Lawson, a self-named “hillbilly” raised in Arkansas, gives credit to “something from above” that helped him choose his numbers.
” … I didn’t really pick ’em — my hand just went,” he told reporters. “Something just told me … and I don’t know how them numbers came about but my hand went to them and I’m certainly glad that they did.”
So, what’s he going to do with all that money?
“I really don’t know yet,” Lawson said. “I want to escape for now, and go somewhere safe and think about it then go from there … I wanted to travel a lot and now I can — I can go anywhere in the world I want. So, that’s what I’m gonna do.”
Lawson said he told his close family members to retire and they’ll be taken care of. He said it’s important to him that his daughters go to college.
Although he’s “kinda pissed at Uncle Sam” for taking a large chunk of his winnings, Lawson said he plans to be careful with what’s left, ” … ’cause this money won’t last forever if I don’t use it right and budget it right.”
The winning ticket for the Aug. 15 drawing was sold at a Sunoco gas station in Lapeer, about 45 miles north of Detroit. Lottery officials said it was the biggest Powerball jackpot ever and the seventh largest jackpot in U.S. history.
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