East Missoula, Mont. — Adam and Mandy Clark discovered they had an unplanned $350,000 tax bill on April 15, and they're thrilled.
That's because they get to keep the other $650,000 from the $1 million winning lottery ticket they purchased on Tax Day at the Ole's Country Store in East Missoula. The couple validated their ticket in Helena on Friday morning.
"We're excited to get our first home and put some money aside for our daughter's college, and some for retirement," Adam said on the phone from the Montana Lottery office. "It was team effort. I bought the ticket and she checked it to find out we were the winners."
Mandy also suggested adding the "Power Play" option to the ticket after a previous $5 winning ticket was boosted to $15 with the bonus purchase.
Montana Lottery spokeswoman Tara Hanley said the Power Play option used to simply double or triple a winning payout. But in January, the lottery changed to rules to make any five-number winner worth $200,000 turn into a $1 million payout.
The odds of such a win are one in 5.1 million.
The Clarks said their winnings have made long-term planning a more exciting proposition in their household. Adam is a production manager at Nutritional Labs and Mandy works at Missoula Surgical Associates. Their daughter, Adilyn, is 8 months old. They've been married for two years.
The couple said they usually buy two or three tickets a month, occasionally winning $5 or $10.
"I bought a ticket for Saturday's drawing after we found our win on Wednesday," Mandy said. "I bought a ticket today as well. The odds are the same."
Adam and Mandy Clark of East Missoula hold their $1 million Powerball prize during a press conference at the Montana Lottery headquarters in Helena on Friday.