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Michigan railroad engineer claims $337M Powerball lottery jackpot

Aug 31, 2012, 3:38 pm

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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

https://lp.vg/media/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 8 years ago by Simba774.
Page 1 of 11
haymaker's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
Egg Harbor twp.south Jersey shore
United States
Member #112964
June 29, 2011
4135 Posts
Offline

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
    United States
    Member #90084
    April 21, 2010
    4265 Posts
    Offline

    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 #48044
      December 7, 2006
      1750 Posts
      Offline

      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
        Member #121741
        January 16, 2012
        7644 Posts
        Offline

        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 #131054
          August 1, 2012
          901 Posts
          Offline

          Congratulations Donald Lawson for picking the winning numbers yourself!

          .

            rdgrnr's avatar - walt
            100
            Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
            United States
            Member #73902
            April 28, 2009
            14903 Posts
            Offline

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

            He better get his taste buds checked out.

              Todd's avatar - Cylon 200.jpg
              50
              Chief Bottle Washer
              New Jersey
              United States
              Member #1
              May 31, 2000
              25841 Posts
              Offline

              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
                Member #121741
                January 16, 2012
                7644 Posts
                Offline

                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
                  100
                  Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
                  United States
                  Member #73902
                  April 28, 2009
                  14903 Posts
                  Offline

                  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
                    Member #121741
                    January 16, 2012
                    7644 Posts
                    Offline

                    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
                      United States
                      Member #90084
                      April 21, 2010
                      4265 Posts
                      Offline

                      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 #112964
                        June 29, 2011
                        4135 Posts
                        Offline

                        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 #90084
                          April 21, 2010
                          4265 Posts
                          Offline

                          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 #112964
                            June 29, 2011
                            4135 Posts
                            Offline

                            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.