Lapeer man claims $337M Powerball jackpot prize - WNEM TV 5

Lapeer man claims $337M Powerball jackpot prize

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Donald Lawson Donald Lawson
That's one big check! That's one big check!

Mid-Michigan's Donald Lawson always figured he'd win a Michigan lottery prize -- perhaps $10,000 or so, but never did he think he'd win $337 million.

Lawson said the first thing he bought after winning the third-largest Powerball jackpot ever was a pack of bubble gum.

Forty-four-year-old Lawson, of Lapeer, claimed the prize during a Friday news conference in Lansing.

"I couldn't breathe," said Lawson in describing what it felt like when  he realized he had a Powerball ticket worth millions. "I had to look at the ticket twice."

State Lottery officials say the very recently retired railroad worker elected to take the lump-sum cash option of $224.6 million.

Lawson says he confirmed the winning numbers by reading backwards and says he lost his breath. He says he quit his railroad job a short time later.

The first item on Lawson's shopping list is a vacation -- "to wherever I want to go!"

"I will help my family, take care of my children and take care of myself," said Lawson. "I can get things I've never been able to get before and still have money left over."

The winning ticket for the Aug. 15 drawing was sold at a Sunoco gas station in Lapeer, and the store will get a $50,000 bonus commission.

Lawson's Powerball win is the largest single jackpot prize awarded in Michigan, surpassing the $208 million Mega Millions prize awarded to Ralph and Mary Stebbins in 2005.

TV5 wants to know -- what would you do with all that money? Sound off in the comments box below or leave us a message on our Facebook wall.

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