Press Release

John Hall

January 13, 2007



DES MOINES, Iowa – The mystery over who bought the winning $19.97 million Hot Lotto ticket from an Indianola retailer is over!  A small business owner stepped forward Friday to claim the record prize.

John Hall of Indianola, 40, claimed the prize at Iowa Lottery headquarters in Des Moines with his wife, Dena, 40, and his four children Jeremy, 19, Justin 17, Jonnah, 14, and  Jessica, 7.

John, who owns American Perfection Basement Waterproofing in Des Moines, purchased his winning ticket at Hy-Vee Gas, 912 Jefferson St. in Indianola.  He said this was only his third time playing the game.

“I don't even play [the lottery] until the jackpots get way up there.  I might buy a ticket here or there.  Then, I started hearing Hot Lotto commercials on TV.  I didn't even know what it was, so I talked with my brother and he told me my chances of winning playing Hot Lotto were better.”   

The next time Hall stopped for gas, he decided to try the game out.
“I was getting some gas and I heard some guy mention the game.  I said to the clerk, ‘Yeah, give me one,'” Hall said.

The couple didn't check the ticket right away.  It wasn't until Dena had a doctor's appointment and the family physician mentioned that the winning ticket was still unclaimed that they remembered to check the numbers on John's ticket.

Dena said, “The doctor said, ‘Did you win?  The winning ticket was sold at Hy-Vee Gas.'  I thought, ‘I think we might have bought it there. I better go check it.'  I went home and I was speechless!” 

Dena immediately called her husband to share the good news.
John said, “My car was getting fixed and it was a hectic day.  I was half-way to picking up my vehicle and Dena was screaming, ‘I checked the numbers!'  I said, ‘You better check it again!'”

As of right Friday, the couple did not have any specific plans for the $19.97 million prize.  John Hall chose to receive the jackpot in a lump-sum payment.

John Hall is the sixth person to win the Hot Lotto jackpot in Iowa.  Iowa Lottery CEO Dr. Ed Stanek said he was thrilled to see another big winner in Iowa.

“This is our third big winner in three years.  In 2005, we had Hugh Hawkins win a $113.2 million Powerball jackpot.  In 2006, we had Tim & Kellie Guderian claim a $200.8 million Powerball prize.  We couldn't be happier to see Iowans winning!”

This is the largest jackpot prize in Hot Lotto since the game began in 2002.

The winning numbers in the Jan. 13 Hot Lotto drawing were: 3-18-27-38-39 and Hot Ball 10.

Last month, the Indianola Hy-Vee Gas received a $5,000 bonus for selling the jackpot-winning ticket.
The Hot Lotto game began in April 2002, offering Powerball-style play but with easier odds.   Tickets are sold in Iowa, eight other states and the District of Columbia.   

Darlene Becker of Dubuque, a 64-year-old grandmother, won the first jackpot claimed in the game, a $3.6 million prize in the drawing on July 10, 2002. Don Sporrer of Denison, a retired IBP worker, became Iowa's second Hot Lotto jackpot winner, claiming a $2.7 million prize in the drawing on Christmas Day 2002. Todd Brobston, who works for the Fort Madison street department, won a $1.3 million jackpot in the drawing on Nov. 1, 2003.

Danny Good, a Des Moines police officer, won a $1.65 million jackpot in the drawing on Dec. 20, 2003. And Moses Bittok, a Kenyan immigrant who now is a correctional officer in Iowa, won the $1.89 million Hot Lotto jackpot in the drawing on Sept. 26, 2005.    

Hot Lotto players choose five numbers from a pool of 39 and another number, called the Hot Ball, from a pool of 19. The Hot Lotto jackpot starts at $1 million and grows until someone wins it. Tickets in the game cost $1. Hot Lotto drawings are held Wednesdays and Saturdays, just before the Powerball drawings.  

Iowa Lottery players have also won six jackpots in Powerball, including a $113.2 million prize that was won by Hugh Hawkins of Des Moines in December 2005 and a $200.8 million jackpot that was won by Tim and Kellie Guderian of Fort Dodge in September 2006.           

Since the Iowa Lottery's inception in 1985, more than $2 billion has been awarded in prizes and more than $1 billion has been raised for state programs. 

Jackpot amount:                  $19.97 million
Chosen to receive as:   $11,894,303.75 lump-sum payment
Federal Withholding:            $2,973,575.94
State Withholding:              $594,715.19
Net Amount:                     $8,326,012.62


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