Happy USA Powerball Winners Who Won Lower Tier Lottery Prizes

We often think of a lottery winner as the person taking home a massive jackpot win that changes their lives for the better forever but that’s not all there is to it.

Happy woman with hands up in front of laptop

The big winners are the ones we all hear about because of the publicity generated and brought into the public eye by the huge size of their jackpot prizes especially with the Powerball lottery games which are renowned for these extraordinary amounts of money their players often win.

What should also be taken into account are winners that took home a nice lump of cash from the lower tiers of the game and were very happy with their windfalls. These are the ones we rarely hear about but are just as important in their own way as they also changed people’s lives albeit on a smaller scale than the main jackpot winners. We have shown a few of their stories below.

Shelley Arnold

On the 21st of August 2020 Shelley Arnold from Salem, Oregon had the biggest smile on her face hidden by her Covid-19 mask so nobody could see her happiness after realising she’d won $1 million while playing the Powerball lottery. She had it in her purse for weeks before finally cashing it in.

Shelley said “I was at Safeway and when I realised I won $1 million, my husband and the clerk couldn’t see how happy I was because I had a mask on!” she continued “I was very happy, in fact, I didn’t believe it.” She first used the self serve lottery scanner to check her results then got the clerk at the store to check it once more and she checked it once again after getting home. “The funny part is that I had that ticket just lying in my purse for weeks,” she said. “I didn’t even realise I had a $1 million ticket sitting in there!”

Shelley was a long time Powerball player winning a few dollars here and there but not thinking she would be likely to win a big jackpot. Shelley won using a Quickpick lottery ticket where she matched all five numbers but not the Powerball.

She said “I always said I would be fine just matching five numbers, yes, I would’ve gotten a big jackpot if I had hit the Powerball, but this is great. I have no complaints.”

Peter and Tammy Van Winkle


On the 25th of July Peter and Tammy Van Winkle of Grand Island, Lincoln, Nebraska won $1 million while playing the Powerball lottery. Peter and Tammy were on their way home in Grand Island from a shopping trip in Omaha and needed to fill the car with gas. While there, Tammy went inside the Fast Mart shop to buy a couple of lottery tickets and a Scratch ticket which they didn’t check for a while.

After leaving the tickets in a pile for a couple of days, Peter decided to check them with the first ‘Lucky For Life’ ticket that paid out $3 then he checked the Powerball ticket via the ‘Check-a-Ticket’ machine which came up “Winner, present original ticket to Nebraska Lottery”. He decided to double-check his ticket results when he got home “I got this weird feeling I should sign the back,” he said. “My heart rate immediately increased.” At home, he and Tammy checked the lottery website and kept checking it perhaps as much as twenty times to make sure there would be no mistake. They immediately put the winning ticket in their safe overnight so they could take it to the lottery office in Lincoln the following morning. They plan to upgrade their car, pay off a loan and keep some money aside for their child’s college education in three years time.

Joseph Feeney and Thomas Cook

Two great friends from Madison, Wisconsin shook each other’s hands one day in 1992 on a deal that if either one of them won the Powerball jackpot, they would split the winnings equally no matter which one of them purchased the winning ticket. Thomas made good on that handshake when he won $22 million on the 10th of June draw. He called Joseph immediately to tell him the good news and Joseph being an avid fisherman didn’t quite believe it. Joseph said, “he called me and I said ‘are you jerking my blobber?”

Thomas gave two week’s notice at work and retired after learning about his win. Joseph was an already retired firefighter and neither of them has made any extravagant plans for their winnings but they are both certainly looking forward to enjoying more family time. “We can pursue what we feel comfortable with. I can't think of a better way to retire,” said Thomas. They both enjoy road trips and plan to upgrade their vehicles for their next adventure out on the highway.

Anonymous lady from Delaware


An anonymous lady from Delaware won $1 million on the Powerball lottery in May.

Shanika Miller

North Carolina resident Shanika Miller scooped up $2 million after always sticking to the same numbers from family birthdays in the 4th of April Powerball draw.

Joe from Pueblo, Colorado

Pueblo resident Joe won two $1 million Powerball prizes buy using his regular numbers and then added some Quick Pick tickets and both won $1 million each. Luck was with him that day.

Dorothy Coffey


A Tennessee based lady Dorothy Coffey won a handy $50,000 on the Powerball lottery back in April by matching four white balls and the Powerball.

Stephen Piechocinski

St. Louis based Stephen Piechocinski has always been an avid Powerball lottery player and in February he lucked out with a $1 million Powerball cash prize. He finally checked his numbers on St Valentine’s Day and discovered he’d won.

Shane Saxen

Shane Saxen from Iowa bought his winning $1 million ticket at a time that he wouldn’t normally play. “I usually wait until the jackpots up really high, and then I’ll buy a ticket,” said Shane “In this case, I just decided, ‘Why not? I’ll get one.’”

It just does go to show that any cash prize win can brighten up your life and help you along the way. Good luck!



This post was written by
Jason L - who has written 3110 articles
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