Retired firefighter is $122M Powerball lottery winner

Feb 11, 2011, 3:22 pm (21 comments)


Includes video report

ALBANY, N.Y. — Stephen Kirwan, a retired 68-year-old Greene County, New York, resident, was introduced this morning as the $122 million winner of the Jan. 22 Powerball drawing.

Kirwan, who came forward with his winning ticket on Monday. chose the lump-sum payment option instead of 30 payments spread out over 29 years, according to the state Lottery Division. That means his winnings will be reduced to $61.2 million. After taxes, the amount will be $40.4 million.

Kirwan has lived in Purling since 1985, when he retired from a 24-year career as a New York City firefighter and began a second career at Stiefel Laboratories in Oak Hill, where he worked until retiring in 2004.

"I'm not overly lucky," Kirwan said. "My own house was damaged by fire last year. I guess I got a lifetime of luck all at once."

Kirwan and his wife, Catherine, have two adult children, Stephen, 26, and Christine, 25.

Kirwan said he still is in shock about winning such a large amount of money and hasn't yet decided what do to with it. He does, however, plan to take a cruise with his wife and children, he said.

"It still hasn't sunk in yet," he said.

Kirwan's fortune started to change on January 22nd with a stop at the Clothespin Laundromat on Route 9W in Catskill where he purchased five sets of numbers for that evening's Powerball drawing. The long-time Lottery player said the laundromat is one of several locations around Catskill where he likes to buy his tickets. "I picked my own numbers," he said. "They don't mean anything. They're just random numbers that I picked." Kirwan said he woke the next morning to some startling news. "I sat at the kitchen table on Sunday morning and checked my numbers in the paper as usual," he said. "I checked those numbers three times before I finally turned to my wife and said, 'I think I won.'"

Kirwan's ticket was the only one to match all six numbers in the Jan. 22 drawing. The winning numbers were 30, 31, 34, 45, 51 and Powerball 23.

Kirwan, 68, is a twice retired. He is a 24-year veteran of the FDNY where he served on board Truck #31 in the South Bronx. He moved to Greene County in 1985 and started his second career at skin care product maker Stiefel Laboratories in Oak Hill. He retired from Stiefel after 25 years on the job.

The new Powerball winner said he has no definite plans for his millions other than treating his wife and two children to a cruise.

Kirwan claimed his winning Powerball ticket on February 7th and decided to take his jackpot prize as a lump sum. He will receive a one-time payment totaling more than $61.2 million or $40.4 million after taxes.

Powerball tickets are sold in 42 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

Lottery Post Staff



Smart dude. he waited for a good amount to pass before he claim his jackpot.  I ope he doesn't blew it like other sad lottery winners did.


Good for this guy....He waited a decent amount of time and hopefully got his act together before claiming.   If he was smart he would get the heck out of NY and go to a state like Florida where they don't tax you to death!   Enjoy your money.....Thumbs Up

megamanX's avatarmegamanX

If you notice on the pictures of the winning ticket, he spent $5 for 5 plays but the winning play was the very first line. So $1 would have won him the jackpot all the same. That's why I advocate a dollar a draw for most cases.

TheOtherOne's avatarTheOtherOne

Great for him and his family! So glad to see this happen to a good person and how about that, a retired FDNY Firefighter!

I think hes a bit crazy for being all over the news and with videos and pictures, but thats just me. then again in that moment I might succumb to the breif amount of 'fame', however, i would like to think I would either be in disguise or have someone else reprsent me altogether.

Either way I am very happy for this person and wish him the best.

and I do appreciate the videos and pics Todd! Particularly the video -- I like how they give the detail of how he picked the numbers and the faact that he did pick his own and basically how it came to be.

It also got me thinking -- I dont think laundromats in TN carry the lottery, at least not that I have ever seen.

sully16's avatarsully16

Congrats to the Kirwans.

dallascowboyfan's avatardallascowboyfan

Congratulations on your win Mr. & Mrs KirwanHurray!


The sad news is when people when money that they don't earn, they seems to be careless about it and blow it all. That's why its better you work hard to earn your money so you could have sympathy  for it. Easy comes means easy go

JAP69's avatarJAP69

The tax man will hose down his enthusiam.

Hope he does not burn thru it to fast.

He could save a bunch of money by going to fire sales.

ohiopick3's avatarohiopick3

Congratulations to the Kirwan's! Nice to see he picked his own numbers regardless of him saying they were just random. Picking up a bet slip and plotting the Jackpot drawing numbers on a betting card must be one heck of a feeling while doing so. I hope he can share that feeling, if he remembers that? Got to be a good one.

butterflykt's avatarbutterflykt

$40.4 million...such a beautiful thing.  Congrats to him and his family.


Omg!! I match 4 numbers plus the megaball. Thanks to megaplier my price will double. Best feeling ever

Guru101's avatarGuru101

Congratulations to the Kirwans.

joshuacloak's avatarjoshuacloak

the guy saved house's and other things form fire , so good for him winning with hes own picked numbers no less wow

TheOtherOne's avatarTheOtherOne

Quote: Originally posted by ppacombu on Feb 11, 2011

The sad news is when people when money that they don't earn, they seems to be careless about it and blow it all. That's why its better you work hard to earn your money so you could have sympathy  for it. Easy comes means easy go

I would say as a whole, this gentleman has probably worked hard enough to earn this money.

Personally I feel like I work hard to earn a good jackpot win, so if/when I do, I will appreciate it that much more.

It all depends on how wise and mature a person is.

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