By Dawson Bell, Detroit Free Press –
LANSING, Mich. —A self-described hillbilly bred in Arkansas and living for the last 10 years in Lapeer, Mich., claimed the largest lottery prize in Michigan history Friday morning, a $337-million Powerball jackpot.
Donald Lawson, a 44-year-old father of two and railroad engineer, said it took his breath away when he realized he held the winning numbers but managed to recover himself well enough to call his boss several hours later and announce his retirement.
Several family members, also recently retired, joined Lawson at the news conference.
Lawson said other than not working and doing some traveling, he doesn’t plan to change his lifestyle a great deal.
“I like the simple life. That’s what I want to continue to do,” he said.
Lawson collected the lump-sum payment of $224.6 million (along with $4 he won on another set of numbers from the same ticket).
As he was presented the mock check by Lottery Commissioner Scott Bowen, a deadpan Lawson asked: “Tax free, right?”
“Afraid not, bro,” Bowen replied.
Lawson’s mom later explained that her son is a “jokester.”