While most parents see their kids as lucky charms, this dad has the proof to back it up. Michigan resident James Allen is up $200,000 after using his children's birthdays as lottery numbers and winning.
Allen told the Michigan Lottery that he first believed he had only won $50,000. However, he soon realized the prize money was four times that. The Powerball's Power Play had multiplied his winnings.
"I checked my ticket and went to bed thinking I had won $50,000 because I forgot about the Powerplay add-on game. When I woke up in the morning, I checked again and realized I had actually won $200,000!"
For context, players can add Power Play to their Powerball purchases for an extra $1 per play at lottery retailers and online. The optional feature multiplies the prize up to 10 times as long as it's not the jackpot prize or surpasses $2 million total.
More information about Power Play and the other rules for playing Powerball can be found at USA Mega's How to Play Powerball page.
Allen matched four white balls plus the Powerball in the Dec. 30 drawing. The numbers drawn that evening were 10, 11, 26, 27, and 34, with Powerball number 7. The Power Play number was 4.
He bought his winning ticket at Hoops Food, Sport, and Spirits, located at 2705 Lapeer Road in Auburn Hills.
According to Michigan Lottery's Jan. 17 announcement, James Allen swung by their headquarters recently to claim his money. The 63-year-old's plans for the money are simple and relatable: paying his bills!
As for his lucky charms, Allen revealed that he always uses his kids' birthdays.
"Every time I play Powerball, I pick my kids' birthdays. This time, it really paid off!"
However, he didn't share how many children he has, their ages, or if he plans to share a piece of the prize money.
Meanwhile, Allen wasn't Oakland County, Michigan's only recent winner. An unnamed 67-year-old cashed in on a $2.7 million one-time lump sum, per lotto officials, after winning a $4 million prize.
"I have played Lottery games for a long time, and enjoy instant games the most," said the player. "When I scratched the ticket off and saw I had won $4 million I couldn't believe it. I showed the ticket to my wife just to be sure I had won. After that, it still took a solid 24 hours before it really sank in that I was a millionaire."
The 67-year-old winner was clear that the money is a blessing for him and his family.
"Winning this money means less stress for me and my family and gives me the chance to help my kids," the player said.