It's the "biggest thing she'd ever won"
By Kate Northrop
OMAHA, Neb. — A once-daily Powerball player is now reaping the rewards from reducing her habitual play, having won a $1 million second-prize after having cut back on her playing.
Wendy Donahue of Omaha, Nebraska has just won the most momentous prize of her life after scooping up a $1 million Powerball prize in the July 25 drawing.
It's also the "biggest thing she'd ever won," next to a cake she won in a cake walk when she was 14 years old, she told the Nebraska Lottery.
Donahue was formerly a daily Powerball player, but decided to cut back on her ticket purchases. However, the fervor for the nearly $1 billion Mega Millions jackpot at the time had stirred up an old habit.
She had stopped at the Baker's grocery store on North 155th Plaza in Omaha to buy some tickets for a swipe at the behemoth Mega Millions jackpot and ended up playing Powerball while she was at it.
After the Powerball drawing took place on July 25, she and her husband, Kevin, heard that there was a winning ticket for a $1 million prize sold at the Baker's they bought their tickets at. They whipped out their tickets and started checking the numbers.
"We thought, 'What if?'," Donahue said in a press release. "I zoned in on the third line and said, 'I think we hit $1 million!' We were both screaming."
Turns out, one of the plays on Donahue's ticket matched all five white ball numbers — 25, 37, 38, 39, and 65 — but missed the Powerball number 5.
They put the winning ticket in a safe, awaiting their visit to Lottery headquarters in Lincoln days later to redeem it. On July 29, she transferred the ticket to her purse and softly laid the bag in the backseat of their car before the ride.
"That was the most stressful drive of my life," Kevin remarked.