Donald Lawson intends to do the typical lottery-winner stuff: Retire, take care of his family, travel, get a new place to live.
But the 44-year-old Michigan man insists his $337 million Powerball prize – the third-largest in Powerball history, and seventh-largest jackpot in U.S. history – wonât change him.
âIâm a millionaire now, but Iâll still go to McDonaldâs,â Lawson told reporters Friday at the Michigan Lottery headquarters in Lansing, where he came forward to collect on the August 15 drawing. âI donât like filet mignon or lobster. I like the simple life, and thatâs what I want to continue to do.â
Lawson, of Lapeer, was the sole winner of the August 15 prize. He chose the lump-sum cash option, which gives him $224.6 million, before tax, at once.
He said he quit his railroad engineer job after learning he won. He said he chose the winning numbers – 6, 27, 46, 51, 56 with a powerball of 21 – himself at a Sunoco gas station in Lapeer.
âI walked into the âŚ station, and usually there ainât nobody up there, but there was a long line. But something from above – I do have to credit that – told me to go over there and pick my own numbers. I didnât pick them – my hand just went,â Lawson said.
Lawson said his two children will now be set for college, and he told his close relatives to retire, âand they had no problem with that.â
He said he plans to travel a lot, but for now, heâs going to âgo somewhere safe and think about (what to do) and go from there.â
âThis money wonât last forever unless I use it right and budget it right. Itâs not a lot, $337 million,â he joked, drawing laughter, before addressing the issue of taxes. âYou all think itâs tremendous amount, but Iâm kind of pissed at Uncle Sam âŚ you know?â
Eight other tickets won the $1 million Match 5 prize on August 15. Two of those tickets were bought in Indiana, and the others in Kansas, Kentucky, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Virginia, lottery officials said.
The game's largest prize to date was $365 million, which was awarded in 2006 to a group of eight co-workers at a Nebraska meat-packing plant.
That record drawing happened when the cost for a Powerball ticket was $1. In January, the price increased to $2, with officials saying it would lead to an increased number of large jackpots. At the same time, the odds improved somewhat because officials reduced the number of red balls, the powerballs, from 39 to 35.
At $337 million, the Powerball pot still has ways to go to catch MegaMillions at the top of the list of U.S. grand prizes. In March, three tickets were sold for a drawing with the top prize of $656 million.
– CNN's Chris Boyette contributed to this report.