"Do You Want to Be a Powerball Millionaire?"
When the Powerball jackpot is high, Steve Smith, 58, of Oxford can expect to receive an email at work from his wife, Sukie, with a nudge, "Do you want to be a millionaire? Go buy some tickets.” Even though Sukie did not email Steve on April 13, 2011 when the Powerball jackpot was $27 million, he still stopped and purchased two Powerball
with Power Play "Quick Pick” tickets on the way home from work and gave them to his wife for safe keeping. Instead of emailing Steve the next morning, Sukie called him on the phone with the most astounding news, “You won $1,000,000!”
Smith successfully matched the first 5 numbers drawn in the April 13th Powerball game, 4 - 23 - 39 - 49 - 50, but missed having the Powerball number of 39. The Power Play multiplier was 3. Nationwide, 578,682 winning Powerball tickets were purchased on that date; 11,065 of those tickets were sold here in Connecticut.
“I didn’t know what I heard when she called me,” Smith told lottery officials. “Sukie said, ‘You’re a millionaire!’ and I’d say it back, ‘I’m a millionaire?’ She repeated it at least six more times and I kept saying it until I finally understood,” Smith said.
Because Smith had added the Power Play option to the purchase of his Powerball ticket for an extra $1, his $200,000 prize was automatically multiplied by 5 for a spectacular $1,000,000 win. “I'd rather buy two Powerball with Power Play tickets than four Powerball tickets without it," Smith told Lottery officials.
Yesterday afternoon, the Smiths arrived at CT Lottery headquarters in Rocky Hill to claim a check for $685,000 (prize value after taxes). “It’s unbelievable. In a matter of 10 hours, I found out I’m a millionaire, and now I’m here holding this check,” said Smith, shaking his head in disbelief. “I don’t know what my plans are yet, but retirement is an option now.”
Smith’s Ansonia Shell (no relation), located on Route 8 and Great Hill Road in Ansonia will receive a $2,000 bonus check from the CT Lottery for selling the winning ticket.