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Michigan railroad engineer claims $337M Powerball lottery jackpot

PowerballPowerball: Michigan railroad engineer claims $337M Powerball lottery jackpot
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Includes video report

A 44-year-old Michigan railroad engineer said he quit his job and told familly members to do the same when he learned he had won the third-largest winner's share ever for a U.S. lottery drawing.

Donald Lawson was accompanied by his two daughters and his mother, whom he jokingly called "Mama Warbucks," when he was introduced as the winner of the multi-state Powerball lottery on Friday.

"I'm a millionaire now, but I'll still eat at McDonald's," Lawson told a news conference in the Michigan capital of Lansing. "I don't like filet mignon or lobster."

Lawson, who said he had played the lottery "too much" in the past, quit his job the day he learned that he was the winner. And he told all of his close family members to retire, "and they had no problem with that."

He chose to take his money all at once rather than to take annual payments that would have added up to $337 million. Instead he will get a payout of $224.6 million, which will be $158.7 million after federal and Michigan taxes.

Lawson lives in Lapeer, Michigan, about 60 miles (97 kilometres) north of Detroit, where he bought his winning lottery ticket for $2 at a Sunoco gas station and convenience store.

He said he filled out his own lottery entry rather than let a machine make his picks, and used no system to select his winning numbers — 6, 27, 46, 51 and 56, with a Powerball of 21.

"I didn't really pick 'em," he said. "My hand just went."

He said he checked his numbers by looking online once someone told him that the winning ticket had been purchased at the local Sunoco station.

Lawson said he read the numbers backward and once he realized he was holding the single winning ticket, "I kind of lost my breath."

Lawson grew up in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and moved to Lapeer 10 years ago. He is going to move away from Lapeer, but he did not say where, although he did say he has always wanted to travel.

"Now I can go anywhere in the world I want, so that's what I'm going to do," he said.

His mother, whose name was not given, was asked whether she thought her son would handle his new fortune well.

"We come from poor people," she said. "He knows the value of a dollar."

VIDEO: Watch the press conference

http://media.lpimg.com/2012083104.mp4

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)

Reuters, Lottery Post Staff

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158 comments. Last comment 4 years ago by Simba774.
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haymaker's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
Egg Harbor twp.south Jersey shore
United States
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June 29, 2011
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Posted: August 31, 2012, 3:45 pm - IP Logged

Did he get the $4 for having the PB on line A ? LOL

Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds    -- Charles Mackay  LL.D.

    CutlassBob's avatar - Sphere animated2.gif
    Harrison Township Michigan
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    Member #90088
    April 21, 2010
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    Posted: August 31, 2012, 3:55 pm - IP Logged

    Did he get the $4 for having the PB on line A ? LOL

    Well of course...LOL

    That's awesome. Congratulations to you Mr. Donald Lawson. Enjoy your retirement, your family and friends are blessed to have a son/brother/husband, dad, friend etc, like you.

    Regards...

    Bob

     "You can't handle the truth!" Nicholson.

      x1kosmic's avatar - neptune vg2.gif

      United States
      Member #48046
      December 7, 2006
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      Posted: August 31, 2012, 3:58 pm - IP Logged

      I like that he quit his job right off the Bat,

            Mabey opening a Job for someone who needs one.

                                     BRAVO!!!!!

        Artist77's avatar - batman14

        United States
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        January 16, 2012
        4791 Posts
        Online
        Posted: August 31, 2012, 3:58 pm - IP Logged

        He seems like he has a better than average chance of handling this well. His $4 powerball win on line A paid for his Mcdonald's sandwich!

          whiteballz's avatar - Lottery-015.jpg
          Nutley, New Jersey
          United States
          Member #131058
          August 1, 2012
          875 Posts
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          Posted: August 31, 2012, 4:04 pm - IP Logged

          Congratulations Donald Lawson for picking the winning numbers yourself!

          .

            rdgrnr's avatar - walt
            Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
            United States
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            April 28, 2009
            14903 Posts
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            Posted: August 31, 2012, 4:05 pm - IP Logged

            He likes McDonald's but doesn't like filet mignon or lobster?

            He better get his taste buds checked out.

              Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
              Chief Bottle Washer
              New Jersey
              United States
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              May 31, 2000
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              Posted: August 31, 2012, 4:07 pm - IP Logged

              STORY UPDATED:  Now you can watch the raw video of the news conference.  See and hear the winner.

               

              Check the State Lottery Report Card
              What grade did your lottery earn?

               

              Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
              Help eliminate computerized drawings!

                Artist77's avatar - batman14

                United States
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                January 16, 2012
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                Posted: August 31, 2012, 4:11 pm - IP Logged

                He likes McDonald's but doesn't like filet mignon or lobster?

                He better get his taste buds checked out.

                rdge.....I don't like seafood (will eat tunafish) and never eat red meat......so I am in the same camp.  Of the 3, I'd take McDonalds (and I rarely go there). Now Thai food is another matter!

                  rdgrnr's avatar - walt
                  Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
                  United States
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                  Posted: August 31, 2012, 4:16 pm - IP Logged

                  rdge.....I don't like seafood (will eat tunafish) and never eat red meat......so I am in the same camp.  Of the 3, I'd take McDonalds (and I rarely go there). Now Thai food is another matter!

                  Roger on the Thai, Artist.

                  Especially some spicy Pad Se Ew.

                    Artist77's avatar - batman14

                    United States
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                    January 16, 2012
                    4791 Posts
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                    Posted: August 31, 2012, 4:22 pm - IP Logged

                    Roger on the Thai, Artist.

                    Especially some spicy Pad Se Ew.

                    You have to watch the video.  He is pretty savvy actually.  When someone asked him how many children he had he said two and replied" how many do you have?" lol  He redirected the focus so they did not get into the followup question (ages of children, etc). Takes some poise to control a conference.

                    Best quote.... His hand just went to the lottery numbers on the slip...he did not pick them.

                      CutlassBob's avatar - Sphere animated2.gif
                      Harrison Township Michigan
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                      April 21, 2010
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                      Posted: August 31, 2012, 4:22 pm - IP Logged

                      STORY UPDATED:  Now you can watch the raw video of the news conference.  See and hear the winner.

                      Awesome, thanks Todd.

                       "You can't handle the truth!" Nicholson.

                        haymaker's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
                        Egg Harbor twp.south Jersey shore
                        United States
                        Member #112968
                        June 29, 2011
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                        Posted: August 31, 2012, 4:25 pm - IP Logged

                        In the background you can see "good things happen" I'm guessin thats MI. lottery slogan ?

                        I wonder if MI. lottery has a pic. of leroy fick w/ that background on their office wall ?  LOL

                        Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds    -- Charles Mackay  LL.D.

                          CutlassBob's avatar - Sphere animated2.gif
                          Harrison Township Michigan
                          United States
                          Member #90088
                          April 21, 2010
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                          Posted: August 31, 2012, 4:27 pm - IP Logged

                          You have to watch the video.  He is pretty savvy actually.  When someone asked him how many children he had he said two and replied" how many do you have?" lol  He redirected the focus so they did not get into the followup question (ages of children, etc). Takes some poise to control a conference.

                          Best quote.... His hand just went to the lottery numbers on the slip...he did not pick them.

                          "Best quote.... His hand just went to the lottery numbers on the slip...he did not pick them." 

                          Ooooo like a Ouija board. Confused

                           "You can't handle the truth!" Nicholson.

                            haymaker's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
                            Egg Harbor twp.south Jersey shore
                            United States
                            Member #112968
                            June 29, 2011
                            3855 Posts
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                            Posted: August 31, 2012, 4:30 pm - IP Logged

                            I like that he quit his job right off the Bat,

                                  Mabey opening a Job for someone who needs one.

                                                           BRAVO!!!!!

                            I want to do the same, create an opening, if fact i know a few ppl. who want my job,

                            the hard part would be figureing out which to recommend,

                            cause ya know, I'd have a lot more on my mind.

                            Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds    -- Charles Mackay  LL.D.