Iowa lottery player scoops $1m after 25 years

Friday March 11th 2011

A Powerball lottery player, who has been using the same numbers for the past 25 years, has finally been rewarded for his patience. Eric Shaffer matched the five main numbers in Wednesday’s draw, only missing out on the $39.5million jackpot by one number. The 48-year-old, of Marion, Iowa, spent an extra dollar on the game’s Power Play option when he bought his lottery ticket and believed he’d scooped an impressive $400,000 prize.

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However, when Mr Shaffer went to check the lottery results at the local convenience store, he got a very pleasant surprise.

Mr Shaffer said: "She asked to see my ticket and I said, 'OK, run it through.' She goes, 'How much do you think you won?' I said, 'I think it's $400,000 - it was $200,000 times the multiplier, which was two.' She said, 'No, you won $1 million.'

"And all the people in the store were just jumping up and down for me, too."
Mr Shaffer said he picked his numbers many years ago by putting pieces of paper in a bag and then drawing out a selection. He’s stuck with the same numbers ever since.

lottery officials said Mr Shaffer plans to use some of his money to buy a new car for his wife, and will also be saving for his retirement. The couple have two young children and so some of the windfall will be used to pay for their college education.

Written by Peter Kirkham

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