A marine corpse veteran has revealed his daughters refused to believe him when he told them he had hit USD one million on the lottery.
Retired soldier Michael ‘Hoogie’ Hoogerwerf said his prankster reputation took its toll when he tried to convince his three adult daughters that he had hit big on Friday, 23rd June.
The 70-year-old man from the city of Davenport, Iowa State, USA, said in a statement obtained by Newsflash from Iowa Lottery: “I’m a bit of a prankster.
“But I just talked with them personally and said, ‘It’s true, it’s real.”
And his daughters, despite having kept their cool during the family’s visit to lottery headquarters on Monday, 17th July, were finally convinced he was telling the truth.
One of them named Melissa Heeren from the area of Taylor Ridge, Illinois State, said: “I believe him now, absolutely. Or this is the best prank ever.”
The veteran told lottery representatives how he learnt about the USD one million (GBP 771,810) win a day after the drawing.
He was reportedly on a charity motorcycle ride when Smokin’ Joe’s manager – the store where Hoogerwerf bought the winning Mega Millions ticket – called him to check it.
The lucky man then recalled how he took the ticket out of his wallet and was stunned to see he had matched numbers 13, 62, 65, 67 and 69.
Hoogerwerf said: “And then she [the manager] about passed out, I think.
“She was more excited than I was. I just kind of took it in stride.
“Apparently, though, on the ride home, our ride was done at that point, so we left the group and went on home.
“And I did release the handlebar and do a fist pump – twice.”
The 70-year-old man told lottery officials he took some time to talk to his accountant and his lawyer before he made a step forward to collect his prize.
Revealing that he also discussed with contractors about housework, he added: “I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about that.
“The first thing is, the homestead is getting a facelift. And then there will be some investments.”
He pointed out the most important task on his checklist, and continued: “I would actually like to have electricity in my garage.”
Iowa Lottery officials revealed that the retailer will receive a USD 1,000 (GBP 773) bonus for selling the winning ticket.
They added: “Powerball and Mega Millions are both lotto games with jackpot prizes that have topped USD 1 billion [GBP 773 million].
“But while Powerball’s drawings are on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, Mega Millions drawings are on Tuesdays and Fridays.”