Iowa Man's Impulse Powerball Buy Pays Off With $1 Million Win

Sunday March 8th 2020

Leap Day luck? An Iowa man is glad he spontaneously bought Powerball tickets on February 29 for a drawing he normally wouldn't enter, leading to a $1 million win.

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Shane Saxen, of Correctionville in Woodbury County in the state's northwest, said he usually only plays when the jackpot gets really high.

But on Leap Day, Saturday, February 29, he was running errands and "I just decided, 'Why not? I'll get one,'" Saxen said.

He bought two easy pick Powerball tickets for that night's drawing, although the jackpot was "just" $80 million. Leap Day only occurs on a Saturday, coinciding with the Powerball draw, about once every 28 years.

Saxen's ticket matched all five main numbers but not the Powerball, netting him the game's $1 million Match 5 second tier prize. The winning numbers in the February 29 drawing were 24, 44, 46, 50, 51 and Powerball 13.

Saxen wasn't the first to learn a large prize had been won locally - the grapevine in the town of about 800 quickly spread the news.

"My sister heard that there was a $1 million prize and asked if I bought a ticket," Saxen said. "And I said, 'Yes,' so she goes, 'Well go get your ticket and I'll check your numbers.' And I checked my ticket and I had the winning numbers!"

"At first I didn't believe her, and I said, 'No way,'" he recalled. "And then she's like, 'No, seriously. For real.' I just kind of paused for a second and my stomach dropped. And it was cool."

Saxen, 31, bought his ticket at the Brew convenience store, 404 11th Street in Correctionville. The retailer will be paid a $1,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.

"I'll be doing some thinking about what I want to do," said Saxen, who is a campus security officer at Briar Cliff University in Sioux City. Although he'll invest most of his prize towards retirement, "I'll probably trade in my vehicle now for a new vehicle."

He's also grateful that his sister prompted him to check his ticket and claim his prize faster. "I would have probably heard about somebody winning it and then obviously I would have known I bought a ticket. I know I would have eventually checked mine," he said. "Everyone's talking about it!"

Iowa also had a $50,000 winner in the February 29 Powerball. The ticket matched four of the five white balls plus the red Powerball and was sold at Hy-Vee, 1005 East Hickman Road in Waukee. No one has claimed the prize yet - in Iowa, winners have 365 days from the draw date to claim.

Could you be the winner? Check your tickets now.

No one has hit the Powerball jackpot since February 12, when a ticket sold in Pontiac, Michigan won the $70 million top prize. That winner has not stepped forward to claim yet.

However, the Powerball jackpot won on January 29 has recently been claimed by Florida woman Sheryll Goedert.

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