Tim Rivers had a dream last Tuesday night that he'd won $200 million in the lottery.
Rivers, 23, of Salem, who'd been laid off recently, told his family about the dream.
They laughed at him.
Rivers said he told his wife, "Why can't that happen to us?"
He and his wife, Pam, were the only winners of Saturday's $89 million Powerball jackpot. Because they opted for the lump-sum cash payout, the win was worth $49.9 million about $35 million after tax withholding.
In an interview last night, Tim Rivers said he "had a feeling" when he checked the five picks on his $5 Powerball ticket Sunday morning. He checked them again, and then told his wife to check them.
He then called his mother, waking her up with the news.
"I told him he'd better not be lying," said his mother, whose name is also Pam Rivers.
Tim Rivers said it was the first ticket he'd purchased since his birthday in November.
The couple's immediate plans are to buy homes for family members, as well as "a big ol' home" in the Salem area, he said, for themselves, their 4-year-old daughter, Taylor, and 6-month-old son, Devin.
Sitting in the living room of his gray mobile home last night, where a framed marriage license hangs on the wall next to the head of a 10-point buck, Rivers said, "I'm no different from anybody else. I see people who won (a lottery prize) that don't need it. Between us," he said, motioning to his wife, "we only had $100. We needed it."
Rivers was laid off from his factory job last week, and his wife works at a day-care center.
The couple drove to Indianapolis yesterday to claim their prize. Although they won't receive the money for 10 days to two weeks, they didn't return empty-handed last night. They each received a small red bag with Hoosier Lottery souvenirs, including three golf balls, a T-shirt and a hat, and a red Hoosier Lottery coffee mug.
Yesterday morning, before leaving for Indianapolis, Tim Rivers stopped by a car dealership in Salem to check out new vehicles. The couple plan to buy a Ford Explorer and a Jeep Cherokee.
Rivers said they plan to go on a vacation and he wants to go back to school to become a mechanic and then open his own shop, according to a news release from the lottery.
He bought the Powerball ticket at Cowboy Food Stores in Salem. The store's manager, Terry Walker, said an employee called him at home about 6:30 a.m. Sunday to tell him Tim Rivers had the winning ticket 11, 44, 45, 48, 50 and Powerball of 2.
Walker said Rivers stops at the store every morning for coffee and a newspaper. Yesterday morning, when a clerk asked if he'd like a lottery ticket, Rivers said, "Oh, I don't think so," according to Walker.
Walker said store employees are "very, very happy" for Rivers. "It couldn't happen to a nicer guy. I'm glad it's somebody like that who won it."
He said Rivers had called him five or six times to talk about what he might do with the winnings. "He was real cool," Walker said. "I don't think it's hit him yet."
Walker said the previous big ticket sold at the store was a $5,000 winner a few years ago. He estimated the store will receive $100,000 for selling the winning Powerball ticket.
According to the Hoosier Lottery, the Riverses are the first Powerball jackpot winners from Washington County. Twice, players there have won $100,000 prizes.
Two county residents have won Hoosier Lotto jackpots totaling more than $6.1 million.
Rivers told lottery officials yesterday that "winning that much money terrified me." So he contacted an attorney before turning in the ticket.
Schoan Nahre, the player relations manager at the Hoosier Lottery, said officials were surprised the couple came forward so soon. Many winners wait weeks to claim their prize.
But Nahre said officials are "happy he's already getting professional advice."
"They're looking for possible ways to invest or save," Nahre said. "They want to save for their kids' college."
Pam Rivers said last night she wasn't sure if she would return to her day-care job.
Her husband said he planned to go to school, continue driving in demolition derby and "pickin' a little guitar."
Tim Rivers said they wouldn't be staying last night in their mobile home, which had three bicycles, three folding chairs and a snow shovel clustered around the stairs to the front door.
Asked where he would be staying, he shrugged. "Wherever our little feet take us."