John McIntyre of Natchez, Miss., became the Louisiana Lottery's first Powerball millionaire of 2009 when he claimed his prize from the May 2 drawing.
"I called my niece the day after the drawing and she gave me the numbers," explained McIntyre, age 66. "I wrote them down and threw them on the table. I didn't look at them again until two days later. Then, I said to myself, 'I caught four. Wait, no indeed, I caught five!'"
McIntyre's ticket matched all five white-ball numbers drawn to win $200,000. Because he added the Power Play option to his ticket, his prize was automatically multiplied by five, bringing his total winnings to $1 million.
For an additional $1 per play, Powerball players can purchase the Power Play option to multiply any nonjackpot prize up to five times, depending upon the Power Play number randomly selected during the drawing. Starting in January 2009, the 5X multiplier is automatically applied to "match-5" prizes, when the Power Play option is purchased.
The Louisiana Lottery has had three $1 million Powerball winners in the three consecutive drawings with those players opting to purchase the Power Play add-on. The other two "match-5" winning tickets have yet to be claimed - one sold in West Monroe for the April 29 drawing and another sold in Bastrop for the May 6 drawing.
McIntyre said he has been playing Powerball since the Louisiana Lottery joined the multi-state game in 1995 and has always picked his own numbers. "I always change my numbers. The numbers I won on just came to me," he explained.
He received $700,000 after required federal and state tax withholdings.
B-Kwik Food Mart on Carter Street in Vidalia sold McIntyre his winning ticket and will receive a one-time bonus of $10,000 or 1 percent of the prize amount.
The winning numbers for the May 2 Powerball drawing were 03-20-38-42-45 and the Powerball number was 27.