Janon Frei from Jasper in Pickens County, Georgia, was checking her Facebook newsfeed when a story from the KnowPickens.com website caught her eye. The story was about an unclaimed US Powerball prize, won on a local ticket.
"I said to myself, 'Those numbers look familiar,'" Janon told Georgia Lottery officials when she claimed her prize on Tuesday.
When she pulled out her Quick Pick ticket Janon saw at once why the numbers were so familiar. She had successfully matched all five of the winning numbers drawn on Wednesday, September 17, 2014. If she'd matched the Powerball as well she would have snagged the $171 million jackpot, but her five numbers were still sufficient to turn Janon into a millionaire.
According to the rules of the US Powerball game, players who fail to get the Powerball number, but match all five main numbers, usually win $1 million. Janon had invested an extra dollar though, and added the Power Play option to her ticket.
The Power Play option increases the size of non-jackpot-winning prizes by up to 5 times the normal amount, depending on the Power Play number drawn. On Wednesday, September 17, the Power Play number was 2, so Janon's prize was doubled.
Recalling how she felt when she realized she was the owner of a $2 million ticket, Janon said: "I was shaking. I was really excited!"
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). The Next drawing is on Wednesday, October 1, 2014. The estimated jackpot is $50 million.