A Villa Hills woman has claimed a $1 million prize from Saturday night's Powerball drawing.
Patricia Pearson won by matching the white ball winning numbers on her ticket but not the Powerball. The computer-generated quick pick ticket chose 26 as her Powerball number, but 34 is what was drawn for the $289,000,000 jackpot drawing.
Pearson didn't have that "eureka" moment many lottery winners have when they discover they've won - instead she learned she may be the winner after a phone call. When lottery officials went to the AmeriStop Food Mart in Villa Hills to execute security precautions after the drawing, they watched the surveillance video of the purchase with store manager Paul Gabis. Later in the afternoon, after watching the video several times, Gabis realized he knew the winner.
While he knew where Pearson lived, Gabis didn't have a phone number for her. He called the management company of her condominium complex and asked if they could get in touch with her so she could call the store.
"At first I thought he was calling because I'd been trying to sell my condo for the past year and had a sign up at the store," Pearson said. "I thought he was calling to tell me to take it down. Instead, Paul said, 'You won the lottery!'". He then asked her to read the numbers on her ticket. The first five numbers matched, and then she gave him the Powerball number which was 26. "That's when Paul told me I'd won a million dollars."
Pearson, who says she buys lottery tickets only a few times a year, was cleaning her house last week when she found a few tickets she hadn't checked. When she took them to the AmeriStop she discovered she'd won $4, so she bought a single Powerball ticket and a Mega Millions ticket. It was that single Powerball play that won the $1 million.
Pearson has no plans for the new-found wealth beyond helping a few family members. The AmeriStop will receive a $10,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.
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