Ham Lake Man Claims Share of $448M Powerball Jackpot
A project engineer from Ham Lake has come forward to claim one-third of the $448 million Powerball jackpot.
Paul White, 45, was introduced Thursday afternoon at a news conference at the Minnesota State Lottery's headquarters.
White said he buys Powerball tickets maybe once a month.
"This is going to be a big change," White said. "I've been waiting for this day for my entire life. A lot of good things are going to come out of this."
White's girlfriend called him Thursday at work asking him to check the tickets for the winning numbers. She said one of three winners had been sold in Minnesota.
One of White's tickets - which he bought at a Holiday Station at 1442 Crosstown Blvd. N.E. in Ham Lake - matched all six numbers. The winning numbers were: 05, 25, 30, 58, 59 and Powerball 32.
White chose the $86 million cash option.
Each winning ticket was worth $86 million before taxes, or $58.3 million after taxes, if taken in a lump sum. They are worth $149.4 million over 30 years if the winners choose the annuity option.
White, who is a divorced father with two teenagers, plans to continue living in Ham Lake, he said. He's originally from Rhinelander, Wis.
During the news conference, White's boss, his boss' wife and White's girlfriend were by his side. White works as a project engineer at Elliott Contracting Corp. in Minneapolis.
"Ron ... started this morning as my boss," White joked. "He's going to end the day my chauffeur."
White said he plans to go back to work to complete some projects, but he eventually plans to quit. "Now I get the opportunity to do whatever I want," he said. "I'm not going to work for anyone else anymore."
But White said he doesn't think he'll play the lottery again.
The other two winning tickets were sold in New Jersey.
A recent game change intended to build excitement about the lottery has increased the frequency of huge jackpots. Wednesday's jackpot drawing comes only a few months after the biggest Powerball jackpot in history - a $590 million pot won in Florida by an 84-year-old widow. The second largest Powerball jackpot, $587.5 million, was won in November and split between two tickets from Arizona and Missouri.
The Minnesota ticket fell well short of the state's record for a Powerball jackpot, a $123.6 million cash option prize in 2011 for a suburban Burnsville couple.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.