SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – It’s been nearly two years since someone won the jackpot playing Lotto America, a draw game played in 13 jurisdictions. That all changed on Saturday.
A ticket purchased in Dubuque, Iowa, matched the winning numbers – 2-38-43-46-51 and Star Ball 7 – to claim the April Fools’ Day prize, worth $40.03 million. The jackpot, which had been building since July 2021, overwhelmingly set a record.
Previously, that record was held by a $22.82 million prize won in March 2018 by a Minnesota family, according to the Iowa Lottery.
The Iowa Lottery confirmed Sunday that the winning ticket was purchased at Eichmans, a family-owned restaurant and convenience store on U.S. Highway 52.
“You hear all the time: what are the odds? Well, it happened here,” owner Stacy Eichman told the lottery. “Honestly, I’m still processing. It’s hard to believe.”
The winner, whenever they come forward, will have the option to choose between a $40.3 million annuity or a $21.28 million cash option.
“As the jackpot continued to climb, we kept saying that the odds of winning it in Iowa are the same as anywhere else. And now it’s happened,” said Iowa Lottery CEO Matt Strawn. “This is a moment to celebrate for our winner, our retailer, and the Iowa Lottery.”
Eichman’s will receive a $5,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.
According to the Iowa Lottery, it is impossible for winners to remain anonymous when claiming prizes.
Lotto America is a draw game run by the Multi-State Lottery Association, which also oversees Powerball. The games are largely the same, with drawings held on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays and players selecting numbers from two pools.
Lotto America players have easier odds of winning: your odds at the grand prize are roughly 1 in 25.99 million while Powerball jackpot odds are about 1 in 292.2 million. Each game offers nine ways to win but payouts vary slightly. After the jackpot has been won in Lotto America, the grand prize value resets to $2 million, far less than Powerball’s starting point of $20 million.
Despite their similarities, Lotto is found in only 13 states – Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Tennessee, West Virginia, Maine, and Delaware – while Powerball is found in 45.