Meet The $337M Powerball Jackpot Winner

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.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • Bill Lets Multistate Lottery Winners Remain Anonymous « CBS Detroit

    […] Brancato said winners have been featured in so-called Winner Awareness marketing and promotion campaigns. But she argued that public disclosure – and the media attention that follows – drives sales. Powerball sales in Michigan have increased 13 percent since Lapeer resident Donald Lawson claimed his prize last month for the $337 million Powerball jackpot. […]

  • Lapeer Gas Station To Collect $50,000 Powerball Bonus | Local Detroit News

    […] The jackpot was the third largest Powerball jackpot and the seventh largest jackpot in U.S. history. […]

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