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Colfax Man Almost Missed Buying Ticket That Won $1 Million Powerball® Prize

George Dickerson Won Prize In Drawing During New Year's Weekend

George Dickerson

CLIVE, Iowa – A central Iowa man said the cold weather almost kept him at home, but at the last minute, he decided to go out and buy Powerball tickets on New Year's weekend – and he won a $1 million prize.

"I almost didn't go. It was freezing out," George Dickerson of Colfax said as he claimed his $1 million prize Friday at lottery headquarters in Clive. "But I thought, 'Well, you'd better go get them.' So I went out and got them."

Dickerson, 57, said the lottery terminal wasn't working at the first store he stopped at, so he had to quickly drive to another location to buy tickets just a few minutes before the sales cut-off for the Powerball drawing on Dec. 30. He won a $1 million prize in that night's drawing, matching the first five numbers but missing the Powerball.

Dickerson, who along with his family owns Dickerson Mechanical Inc., a plumbing, heating and electrical business, said he has believed he would win the lottery for a few years now.

"In 2010, we had a flood," he said. "We lost almost everything we had in the flood from our Dickerson Mechanical business. Ever since then, I've told all our friends, 'I'm going to hit the lotto. I don't know when I'm going to do it, but you'd just better believe me, I'm going to hit it.'"

Dickerson said that when a friend called him Sunday morning to say that someone in Colfax had won $1 million, he immediately thought it must be him.

"I just thought that you have to have luck in life," he said. "We were really almost going to have to go broke. We sat up in bed one night and said, 'We're not going to do this to people. We wouldn't like it if somebody did that to us and we're going to fight through it.'

"Our son was wanting to get into the business with us and so we fought through it," he said. "Our bank started working with us and now we are actually doing awesome. And so we're going to make it through it."

Dickerson was accompanied to claim his prize by his wife, Kathy, and their son and daughter-in-law. The Dickersons also have two adult daughters.

George Dickerson said that winning the lottery has taken away some of their worry about the future.

"We've had zero retirement because it took everything," he said.

"We've been worried sick about what we're going to do to retire sometime because it took it all. We went to the CPA and the banker and we talked to them yesterday. We're better this week than we were last week."

Dickerson bought his $1 million-winning ticket at the Kum & Go convenience store at 1200 N. Walnut St. in Colfax. His ticket came within one number of having at least a share of Saturday's $390.1 million jackpot, matching the first five numbers but missing the Powerball. No one matched all six numbers to win the jackpot, so the big prize climbs to an estimated $440 million annuity ($278.3 million cash option) for Wednesday.

Saturday's winning numbers were: 28-36-41-51-58 and Powerball 24. The Power Play number was 2. The Colfax ticket was one of only three across the country that won a $1 million prize that night, with the others sold in New Hampshire and New Jersey.

Kum & Go will receive a $1,000 bonus from the lottery for selling the $1 million-winning ticket at one of its stores.

Kathy Dickerson said she at first didn't believe her husband when he told her the good news.

"He was sitting at the kitchen counter and said, 'I think I won!'" she recalled with a smile. "I said, 'No, you didn't. Quit messing with me.' He said it again so I finally walked around the counter to see what he was looking at and said, 'You read them to me.' He read them to me and I said, 'It looks like you won!'"

Players in $2 Powerball choose their first five numbers from a pool of 69, and another number – called the Powerball – from a separate pool of 26. The Power Play® option is available for an extra $1 per play.

Since getting its start in April 1992 in 15 states with jackpots that started at a guaranteed $2 million, Powerball has grown into one of the world's biggest and most recognizable lottery games. Today Powerball is played by 47 lotteries across the country with drawings at 9:59 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Since the Iowa Lottery's start in 1985, its players have won more than $3.9 billion in prizes while the lottery has raised more than $1.8 billion for state programs.

Today, lottery proceeds in Iowa have three main purposes: They provide support for our state's veterans and their families through the Iowa Veterans Trust Fund; help for a variety of significant projects through the state General Fund; and backing for the Vision Iowa program, which was implemented to create tourism destinations and community attractions in the state and build and repair schools.

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