CLIVE, Iowa — An Iowa woman lost her home in a tornado in April 2001. Now, she and her husband can finish the new residence they have been building after she won a $2 million Powerball prize in Saturday’s drawing.
“I fell into my chair,” Tammy Gordy, 56, of Ottumwa, said in a news release from the Iowa Lottery. “I couldn’t see! There were all those zeros. I was like, ‘Maybe I need my glasses.’ So yeah, we screamed.”
Tammy and Steve Gordy lost their home when a tornado hit the town of Agency in Wapello County 22 years ago, the Des Moines Register reported. The project had been put on hold for several years, but this latest infusion of cash will speed up the process, Gordy told the newspaper.
“It’s going to go into better details,” Gordy said on Monday after collecting her prize at lottery headquarters in Clive. “I’m talking a walk-in closet and a Jacuzzi tub. That’s what I’m talking about.”
Tammy Gordy, a dietary aide at an area hospital, matched five of Saturday’s winning numbers: 2-38-44-50-62, the Register reported. She missed the Powerball number, which was 19.
That brought her a $1 million payday, and because she played the Power Play option, it multiplied her winnings to $2 million.
“We’ve never been material people, I can say that,” Tammy Gordy told lottery officials. “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.”
Tammy Gordy said she realized she won the big prize when she used the Iowa Lottery’s mobile app Sunday to check some lottery tickets she had in her purse.
Steve Gordy said he was initially confused when his wife began screaming.
“She jumped up and was saying … well, not English, but other words I couldn’t understand,” Steve Gordy told lottery officials. “And then I looked over and there were a lot of zeros. Then we didn’t know what it was until we got our senses back.”
Tammy Gordy’s winning ticket, an easy-pick selection, was the only one in the nation to win Saturday’s $2 million prize, lottery officials said.
“I just couldn’t comprehend that,” she said.
Gordy bought her winning ticket at Hy-Vee Fast & Fresh in Ottumwa. She said she was honest with her employer when she asked for time off to collect her winnings.
“I called my boss and told him that I needed to take Monday and Tuesday off because I won $2 million on the Powerball,” Gordy told lottery officials. “And so he says, ‘Well, congratulations if you’re not April Foolin’ me!’”
It was no prank. Still, her four adult children and their extended families were skeptical.
“I am a jokester, but not to that extent,” Tammy Gordy said.
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