An Iowa woman whose home was destroyed in a tornado won a $2 million Powerball prize, which she said will make it possible for her and her husband to finish building a new house.
Tammy Gordy said that she and her husband Steve lost their home in April 2001, when the Wapello County area was hit hard by a tornado. The project to rebuild has been “on hold for a few years,” she said in a news release shared by the Iowa Lottery, but the winnings are “going to speed it up.”
The new funds will also allow the couple to have some upgrades, Gordy said.
“It’s going to go into better details! I’m talking a walk-in closet and a Jacuzzi tub! That’s what I’m talking about!” Gordy said.
Gordy told the Iowa Lottery that she had logged into the organization’s mobile app on Sunday, June 25, to check the results of some tickets she had, and was amazed by how high her winnings were. She had bought a single easy-pick ticket from an area Hy-Vee, and added a multiplier option, so even though she only had five matching numbers, her $1 million dollar prize was doubled. It was the only one in the area to win $2 million in that drawing, the lottery said.
“I fell into my chair,” Gordy said. “I couldn’t see! There were all those zeroes! I was like, ‘Maybe I need my glasses.’ So yeah, we screamed. … I just couldn’t comprehend that.”
Steve Gordy said that at first, he couldn’t make out what his wife was saying.
“She jumped up and was saying … well, not English, but other words I couldn’t understand,” he said. “And then I looked over and there were a lot of zeroes. Then we didn’t know what it was until we got our senses back.”
Gordy said she first called her adult children and extended family before letting her boss know she had to take a day off work to claim her prize.
“I called my boss and told him that I needed to take Monday and Tuesday off because I won $2 million on the Powerball,” she said. “And so he says, ‘Well, congratulations, if you’re not April Foolin’ me!'”
In addition to rebuilding their home, Gordy said she and her husband will be able to spend more time with loved ones.
“We’ve never been material people, I can say that,” Gordy said. “Family was more important to us. So, it’s going to be that way. We’re just going to be able to do more things.”