Past Powerball Winner Reflects on Jackpot While Iowans Buy Tickets at Record Pace

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CLIVE, Iowa -- The demand for Powerball tickets is reaching mind blowing levels.

"Tickets in Iowa were selling at about $6,800 a minute for the Powerball," said Mary Neubauer, Iowa Lottery's VP of External Affairs.

All for the dream of hitting the largest lottery jackpot in North American history. Lisa Lems of Baxter said she couldn't pass up the opportunity. "I usually don't play, but when it gets that big you have to try."

Neubauer says some stores in Iowa can't keep up.

"Across the state, stores are asking for more paper so we have been shipping out supplies today for stores that have run out."

Despite the 1-in-292 million odds, Bondurant has a history of doing the unthinkable.

In 2012, Brian and Mary Lohse won the over $200 million jackpot. They built a grocery store in town and it's making many lottery ticket buyers feel lucky. Lems said, "It would be so fun. I can't even imagine how fun that would be."

Brian says that feeling comes at a cost. "Try to hold on and be determined to hold on to who you are, as opposed to your surroundings because everything around your life is going to change. It will be crazy."

Many lottery hopefuls have good intentions for the winnings. "I would go see my mom and pay off lots of people's bills and buy a new pickup," said Lems.

Edward Daniel of Bondurant says he'd also be conservative with his winnings, "I'm not going to get carried away with it because you have heard in the past of other winners and they don't have the money."

The Lohse's stayed true to their word and Bondurant as well. Brian said, "The community needed a football field. The players, the high school, but the community really needed a place to gather, a grocery store to identify as a community."

It's rubbed off. Edward Daniel said, "I'm going to give back to the community too, like the Lohse's did."

For the Lohse's none of it has diminished their love for the game. "Yeah my wife has a few tickets right now in her purse."

Win or lose, nearly 25 percent of every dollar is given back. Neubauer said, "It helps veterans and families with the Veteran Trust Fund and the state general fund and that pays for education, law enforcement and agriculture."

For those looking for to stuff their own pockets, here's an exclusive tip on the house. Neubauer said, "The only insider information I can say is that if you want a chance to win you have to buy at least one ticket."

There have been eight Powerball Jackpot winners from Iowa over the years.


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