A Mahaska County man said several pieces of luck came together for him to win a $2 million Powerball prize. He was on his way to his mother's 59th birthday party, so he was traveling Saturday on a different street than usual. And his son had borrowed his car the day before, so he stopped for gas at a different convenience store than he normally visits.
"Do away with all the problems I had yesterday and now I get a new set today," Michael Lally of Barnes City said with a chuckle as he claimed his $2 million prize Monday at Iowa Lottery headquarters in Des Moines. "And that's OK!"
The jackpot-winning ticket in Saturday's $338.3 million Powerball drawing was sold in New Jersey, while Lally bought the only ticket in the country that won a $2 million prize that night. The jackpot-winning ticket has yet to be claimed.
Lally's ticket came close to having a share of the jackpot, matching the first five numbers but missing the Powerball. But he also added the Power Play to his easy-pick ticket, which multiplied the prize to $2 million.
Lally's explanation for why he adds the Power Play to his tickets: "Even if you don't win big, you still win better than if you just bought regular," he said. "Sometimes it means the difference between winning $25 and $50. I've always gotten in that habit and that's just how I've done it. It really paid off this time."
Lally bought his $2 million-winning ticket at Kum & Go, 1201 N. Market St. in Oskaloosa.
Kum & Go will receive a $2,000 bonus from the lottery for the $2 million-winning ticket being sold at its Oskaloosa store.
Lally, 38, who works for Kitzman Construction in Gibson, said he helped a friend work on that friend's truck on Sunday, so he didn't hear anything about a winning ticket being sold in Oskaloosa until Monday morning. He was plowing snow early Monday in What Cheer when he decided to stop a convenience store and check his ticket. He said that at first, he joked around with the clerk.
"I said, 'Maybe I won the $2 million,'" Lally recalled. "And she goes, 'Oh, dream on.' And the machine went 'Woo-hoo!' And I thought, 'Well, maybe I won $50 or something.'
"And she paused and she held it up and my hands started shaking and I thought, 'Oh, this can't be happening,'" he said. "But it was."
Lally said that his son Tyler is a junior in high school, so his lottery winnings will help pay for Tyler's college education. He also will put a lot away for retirement. A new vehicle is in his future, and he plans to continue working at Kitzman Construction.
"It's like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders," he said.
Lally's brother, Jerad Lally of Des Moines, and his boss, Brian Kitzman of Gibson, accompanied him as he claimed his prize.
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