Mystery Iowa Powerball winner is found - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Mystery Iowa Powerball winner is found

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DES MOINES (KWWL) - Iowa lottery officials have found the mystery winner of last November's $1 million Powerball prize.  Richard Watson of Belton, Missouri came to lottery headquarters in Des Moines to claim his winnings, after lottery officials held a news conference in Tipton last week.  That's where Watson bought the lucky ticket.

Turns out, Watson had that ticket and a bunch more that he just hadn't checked.

Another winning ticket-- for $10,000 was also sold in Tipton.  That prize still has not been claimed.

Watson said he was shocked when he learned last week that he’d won a big prize.

“I travel for work and I have a bundle of lottery tickets that I was planning on going through, but I hadn’t yet,” Watson said. “And I received a call that I thought was a scam, but it turned out it wasn’t.” 

Watson purchased his $1 million-winning ticket at Kum & Go, 2050 Iowa Highway 38 in Tipton, for the Powerball drawing on Nov. 16. He was traveling for work and bought a ticket during a stop for gasoline. The winning Powerball numbers on Nov. 16 were: 10-29-37-44-59 and Powerball 10. Watson’s ticket matched the first five numbers but missed the Powerball to win a $1 million prize.

Watson admitted that he set the ticket aside and didn’t check it for months. In fact, he currently has tickets from several different states that he has yet to check, but he plans to do that soon.   

Iowa Lottery officials had to do some detective work to track down Watson.  They worked with the staff at Kum & Go and  managed to trace Watson through his bank.

Watson said he was initially skeptical when he received a call from UMB Financial Corp. in Kansas City, Mo., stating that the Iowa Lottery would like to speak with him. But he saw media coverage online from the lottery’s news conference Friday in Tipton and said the articles helped him realize the situation was real.

So, does he think he would have checked his winning $1 million ticket in time before it expired?

“I had four Iowa tickets that expired on the third of this month and that’s why I said, ‘I’ve got to go through these before they’re all gone,’” he said. “It would have been on a weekend sometime.”

Watson said he lives with his parents who are in their 80s, and his Powerball prize will enable him to spend more time with them:  “Now we’ll be able to move back to the Las Vegas area where we’re originally from and get a nice little place together,” he said. “This will work out quite a bit to be able to make a major life change.”     
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