Robert Winburn, 49, matched five of the numbers drawn, but failed to get the Powerball. He claimed his prize on Tuesday and told Lottery officials he originally chose his winning numbers by assigning numbers to each letter of the alphabet and then picking the numbers that corresponded to the letters of his last name.
Winburn has continued to place his numbers faithfully for two decades, but prior to the weekend his biggest win was just $100.
The persistent Powerball player bought his winning ticket from the Git-n-Go convenience store in Urbandale, but didn't realize his numbers had produced a sizeable win until Sunday morning when he ran them through the self-checker at his local grocery story.
When the machine confirmed he owned a winning ticket Winburn was so surprised he showed the ticket to the man standing next to him in the grocery store, telling him, "I don’t believe this." The man watched Winburn run the ticket through the machine for a second time and told him, "Sign it and get the heck out of here."
Winburn plans to buy a new car and pay off some bills, but said he intends to invest most of his winnings.
The US Powerball is a multi-state draw that offers a minimum jackpot of $40 million. Numbers are drawn on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 22:59 (EST).