A Michigan grandmother learned she had won $310 million in the Powerball while she waited on line for a McDonald’s drive-thru. It was 50-year-old Julie Leach’s lucky day as she claimed the September 30 jackpot all to herself. She bought the ticket a Shell station in her hometown of Three Rivers on the day of the drawing.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. She Wants to ‘Buy a Bunch of Land’ With Her Winnings
Leach told the media “It’s crazy, just unreal. Never thought it would happen. I’m still just in disbelief. I just don’t know what to say.” She added “My main focus was getting somebody to help me so I can make the right decisions and the right choices.” In terms of what she plans to do with the money long-term, Leach said “We’ve always talked around campfires and stuff, said if we ever won the lottery, we wanted to buy a bunch of land and build our kids homes.”
2. She Quit Her Job Automatically After Realizing She Won
Click On Detroit reports that she worked at a fiberglass factory in Three Rivers named Aquatic and quit the job “automatically” upon hearing of her victory. Leach realized that she had won while at McDonald’s drive-thru, she described the situation as “I kept trying to focus my eyes on the numbers and the dates” on the ticket. I was just shaking and in disbelief. You just don’t ever think it’s going to happen…I keep going to sleep and waking up with the same beautiful dream. I’m starting to realize this is real.”
3. Rumors in the Town of Three Rivers Had Said the Winner Was a Man
She can claim a one-time payment of $197 million before taxes or a 30-year pay deal. Leach bought the ticket on September 30, the night of the Powerball draw at a Shell station in Three Rivers, 30 miles south of Kalamazoo. The winning numbers were 21, 39, 40, 55, 59 and 17. Prior to Leach stepping forward, Michigan Live reported that the manager of the Shell station, Regina Bontrager, said that she heard the winner was a supervisor at a local plant. Other local residents told Michigan Live that the winner was a man who bought the ticket with his fiancee.
4. She’s a Native of Three Rivers
According to her Facebook page, she’s a native of Three Rivers, Michigan, about 160 miles west of Detroit. She’s a mother and grandmother. Her cover image on Facebook shows three of her grandchildren.
5. One of Michigan’s Other Powerball Winners Was a Group of Men Who Bought Their Ticket in a Porn Store
She’s the third Powerball winner in Michigan history, with Donald Lawson winning $337 million in 2012 and $128.6 million paid to Team Victory in November 2010. Brilliantly, Team Victory bought their ticket at a porn store. Leach’s jackpot is the second largest this year with a February total winnings of $564.1 million being split between three players.