Iowa Lottery Winner Scores $2M Powerball Some 22 Years After House Destroyed in Tornado

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Tammy Gordy, a 56-year-old dietary aide at a hospital in Ottumwa, Iowa, has won a $2 million Powerball prize. Her good fortune comes 22 years after she and her husband, Steve, lost their home to a tornado.

The couple, who have been renting a home since the 2001 disaster, were in the process of building a new house when the lottery win came through. The unexpected financial boost will speed up the build, as well allowing them to upgrade the property design.

“It’s going to go into better details! I’m talking a walk-in closet and a Jacuzzi tub! That’s what I’m talking about,” Gordy told the Iowa Lottery in an official press release.

Related: The best big money progressive jackpot slots for US players

Power Play Reaction

Gordy purchased her winning Powerball ticket on June 24 from a Hy-Vee Fast & Fresh convenience store in Ottumwa.

The winning numbers were 2-38-44-50 and 62. Although she missed the $1 million prize during the initial drawing by not picking the Powerball number, 19, she had opted for the Power Play feature on her easy-pick ticket.

This option multiplies prizes at the Match 5 level to $2 million. The Power Play number of the day was 3.

Gordy discovered her win the following day when she checked her ticket status on the Iowa Lottery mobile app.

“I fell into my chair,” she told the Iowa Lottery.

“There were all those zeroes! I was like, ‘Maybe I need my glasses.’ So yeah, we screamed.”

Husband Steve was nonplussed seeing his wife’s initial reaction.

“She jumped up and was saying … well, not English, but other words I couldn’t understand,” he said. “And then I looked over and there were a lot of zeroes. Then we didn’t know what it was until we got our senses back.”

After taking a while to compose, Gordy got in touch with her employer to tell them the good news.

“I called my boss and told him that I needed to take Monday and Tuesday off because I won $2 million on the Powerball, and so he says, ‘Well, congratulations, if you’re not April Foolin’ me!’

The pair also had initial trouble convincing their four adult children that the $2 million win was real and not a prank.

“I am a jokester, but not to that extent,” Gordy said.

Material People

With the winnings, the Gordy family plans to complete the new home she and her husband have been building since the tornado hit in 2001.

“We were in the process of building a home, and it kind of got put on hold for a few years, so now this is going to speed it up,” she said.

Despite the windfall, Gordy maintains that material possessions have never been a priority for her and her husband.

“We’ve never been material people, I can say that,” she said. “Family was more important to us. So, it’s going to be that way. We’re just going to be able to do more things.”

The $2 million prize is not all theirs to spend, however. The couple are required to pay $480,000 in federal taxes and $100,000 (5%) in Iowa state taxes.

The convenience store that sold Gordy her winning lottery ticket will receive a $2,000 bonus from the Iowa Lottery.

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