April 29, 2011

Scientist, native Hoosier wins $74 million in Powerball

SwansonINDIANAPOLIS – April 2011 will go down as a big month for Powerball® players in Indiana who have won back-to-back jackpots totaling nearly $300 million.  A pair of welders from Clarksville, Ind. claimed the first jackpot of $221.7 million.  We now know who the holder of the $74 million ticket from the April 23 drawing is:  William “Bill” Swanson II of Houston, TX.

Hoosier Lottery Executive Director Kathryn Densborn presented Swanson with his winnings at a press conference at Hoosier Lottery Headquarters in Indianapolis this afternoon.

Swanson is a Hoosier by birth and a geoscientist by profession.  He was born in Gary and grew up in Merrillville, in Northwestern Indiana, approximately 40 miles southeast of Chicago. Swanson is a graduate of Indiana University. He was in Merrillville visiting his 81-year-old mother, Marilyn Swanson, for Easter when he purchased a quick-pick Powerball ticket that turned out to be worth $74 million.

Bill Swanson purchased his winning ticket at Meijer located at 611 W. Lincoln Hwy. (just west of I-65 at exit 253.)  The scientist defied odds of one in more than 195 million (1:195,249,054) when the six numbers on his Powerball ticket matched all six numbers drawn in the April 23 drawing:  3-11-47-48-58 PB: 19.

Swanson had the option of receiving $74 million as a 30 year annuity or in a lump sum of $37.7 million (before taxes).  He opted to take the current cash value and received approximately $27 million after taxes.

Swanson and his mother buy Powerball tickets in Merrillville whenever he comes to visit.  They purchased two tickets for the $74 million drawing.

He had already gone back to Houston when Marilyn checked the tickets and discovered the win. She called him right away. He hopped on a plane and flew back to Merrillville that night.

Swanson says he plans to spoil his mother who grew up in the Depression, the fifth of ten children, in a one bedroom home.  She was widowed a couple years ago after 58 years of marriage.

“She can live rest of her life exactly the way she wants,” said Bill Swanson.  “She will never have to go to a nursing home.”

The first item of business for Swanson is moving his mother near him in Houston.  He is buying her a house and a red Cadillac.  As for himself, Swanson is not sure if he will retire.  He plans to take some time off to get his affairs in order and determine the best course of action.

“I enjoy my job.  I need to spend a little time thinking about it before I retire,” said Bill Swanson.

Swanson says he ultimately does plan to take it a little easy and looks forward to being able to take vacations with his thirteen-year old son.  They both enjoy scuba diving.

Swanson’s win marks back-to-back Powerball wins in Indiana.  The jackpot had been rolling since April 6 when it was hit for $221.7 million in Clarksville, Ind.  That prize was claimed April 21 by Todd Reardon and Darin Fox of Clarksville.

The Merrillville win also marks the 38th time a Hoosier Lottery retailer has sold a jackpot-winning Powerball ticket.  Indiana leads the nation in Powerball wins.  Powerball is now played in 44 jurisdictions.  The net income generated from sale of Powerball in Indiana is turned over to the state of Indiana. Last year, the Hoosier Lottery transferred $190 million to the state where it was allocated to teachers, police and firefighters retirement funds as well as the Build Indiana Fund which ultimately reduces Hoosiers’ license plate costs.

The $74 million win is especially big news for Lake County, which  adds a Powerball jackpot win to its roster of jackpot wins including a $54.5 million Hoosier Lotto jackpot hit in East Chicago in 2007 (the largest Hoosier Lotto jackpot ever) and a $46.5 million Mega Millions® jackpot won by a family in Dyer, Ind. in February of this year (the first – and so far only – Mega Millions® jackpot hit in Indiana.)

Swanson’s win is big news for Meijer as well.  The store will receive a $100,000 bonus (1% of the jackpot capped at $100,000) for selling the winning ticket.

The Hoosier Lottery reminds players to always play responsibly, and to always sign the back of their tickets.  Hoosier Lottery players have 180 days to claim prizes on Hoosier Lottery draw games.



For more information, please contact Megan Wright at mwright@hoosierlottery.com or 317-264-4805.


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