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Happy Accident: Wrong Number Leads to $150,000 Powerball Prize

Iowa Lottery Powerball Winner Barbara Haley

Iowa – A Sioux City woman says she’ll stop reminding her husband to wear his glasses now that a hiccup caused by his eyesight led to them winning a $150,000 Powerball prize.

Barbara Haley, 68, claimed the prize after the ticket that she and her husband Steve purchased matched four of five white balls and the Powerball in Saturday’s drawing. She was one number away from winning that night’s $23.2 million jackpot.

Haley’s big win wasn’t without an additional bit of luck. When Steve was filling out the play slip, he put in a different number by accident than they usually play.

“When he filled it out, he accidentally put an 8 instead of a 9,” Barbara Haley told officials on Tuesday as she claimed her prize at the lottery’s Storm Lake regional office. “We thought we were going to get $300. Because he put an 8 instead, we got $150,000.

“I’m always saying, ‘Why don’t you just wear your glasses?’ I’m going to quit complaining to him,” she said with a big grin.

They purchased the winning ticket at their “lucky place to buy tickets,” East End Car Wash, 5401 Morningside Ave. in Sioux City. Having played the same numbers for years based on family birthdays, they didn’t bother to check the ticket right away. On a trip for groceries days later, they tried to redeem what they thought was a $300 prize. That’s when they realized it was much more.

“I started buying groceries and Steve went to cash it in,” Barbara Haley said. “That’s when we found out. I get paged to the front while I’m shopping, and they’re like, ‘Barb Haley, come to customer service.’ I’m like, ‘Oh, he probably just doesn’t know where I am in the store.’”

The winning numbers in Saturday’s drawing were 5-8-17-27-28 and Powerball 14. The Power Play number was 3. Haley’s initial $50,000 prize was tripled because she opted for the $1 Power Play add-on, which multiplies non-jackpot prize amounts by up to 10 times.

Haley said she and her husband aren’t sure yet what they’ll do with their winnings.

“I’m sure we’ll keep things status quo,” she said. “We haven’t really decided. It all just happened kind of fast.”

Players in $2 Powerball choose their first five numbers from a pool of 69, and another number – called the Powerball – from a separate pool of 26. The Power Play option is available for an extra $1 per play.

Since getting its start in April 1992 in 15 states with jackpots that started at a guaranteed $2 million, Powerball has grown into one of the world’s biggest and most recognizable lottery games. Today Powerball is played by 48 lotteries across the country with drawings at 9:59 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

**About the Iowa Lottery:**Since the lottery's start in 1985, its players have won more than $4.6 billion in prizes while the lottery has raised more than $2 billion for state programs. Today, lottery proceeds have four main purposes in Iowa. They provide help for our state’s veterans and their families through the Iowa Veterans Trust Fund; support through the Iowa Public Safety Survivor Benefits Fund for the surviving family members of Iowa peace officers and fire fighters who die in the line of duty; help for a variety of significant projects through the state General Fund; and backing for the Vision Iowa program, which was implemented to create tourism destinations and community attractions in the state and build and repair schools.