Retired NYC Firefighter Now Living in Purling, Greene County Wins $122M Powerball Prize
"I'm not overly lucky," said retired FDNY firefighter Stephen Kirwan of Purling, Greene County as he sat in the Lottery's Fishkill Customer Service Center claiming his $122.1 million Powerball prize. "My own house was damaged by fire last year," he continued. "I guess I got a lifetime of luck all at once."
Kirwan's fortune started to change on January 22nd with a stop at the Clothespin Laundromat on Route 9W in Catskill where he purchased five sets of numbers for that evening's Powerball drawing. The long-time Lottery player said the laundromat is one of several locations around Catskill where he likes to buy his tickets. "I picked my own numbers," he said. "They don't mean anything. They're just random numbers that I picked." Kirwan said he woke the next morning to some startling news. "I sat at the kitchen table on Sunday morning and checked my numbers in the paper as usual," he said. "I checked those numbers three times before I finally turned to my wife and said, 'I think I won.'"
The winning numbers drawn for the January 22nd Powerball drawing were 30 31 34 45 51 and Powerball 23.
Kirwan, 68, is a twice retired. He is a 24-year veteran of the FDNY where he served on board Truck #31 in the South Bronx. He moved to Greene County in 1985 and started his second career at skin care product maker Stiefel Laboratories in Oak Hill. He retired from Stiefel after 25 years on the job.
"It still hasn't sunk in" Kirwan said of his jackpot win. The new Powerball winner said he has no definite plans for his millions other than treating his wife and two children to a cruise.
Kirwan claimed his winning Powerball ticket on February 7th and decided to take his jackpot prize as a lump sum. He will receive a one-time payment totaling more than $61.2 million or $40.4 million after taxes.
The New York Lottery continues to be North America's largest and most profitable Lottery, earning more than $39.3 billion in education support statewide since its founding over 40 years ago. The Lottery contributed nearly $2.67 billion in fiscal year 2009-2010 to help support education in New York State, which was over 12 percent of total state education funding to local school districts.