MORGAN CITY, La. — After winning $2 million in the Feb. 16 Powerball drawing, Amy Sturges of Morgan City stared in awe at her Louisiana Lottery prize check and turned to show it to her husband. Warren Sturges seemed at a loss for words, but finally asked his wife, “Can I borrow eight bucks?”
The 40-year-old Powerball winner became Louisiana’s latest millionaire by matching all five white-ball numbers in the Feb. 16 drawing. Because she added the Power Play option to her Quick Pick ticket, the prize increased from the usual $1 million to $2 million.
For an additional dollar, players can add Power Play to their ticket to increase any nonjackpot prize to a set amount that ranges from $12 for matching only the Powerball to $2 million for matching all five white-ball numbers.
“Now I’ll have to send something to my mom so she’ll believe me,” said Amy Sturges when she visited Lottery headquarters in Baton Rouge to collect her $2 million prize.
She said that her two teenage children were the ones who urged her to check her ticket after hearing there was a big Powerball winning ticket sold in Morgan City. On Sunday, the couple finally decided to go to Mel-Star Inc. on MLK Boulevard, the store where they purchased the ticket, to have it verified.
“When we visited the store, the clerk said she was hoping the winner was somebody she knew,” said Warren Sturges.
“She was so happy to find out it was us,” added Amy Sturges. The store will receive a one-time selling bonus of $20,000 for selling the winning ticket.
Amy Sturges and her husband, Warren Sturges, said they are frequent customers of Mel-Star Inc. In fact, one of the many friends texting her while she collected her prize was the clerk who sold her the ticket.
After federal and state taxes were withheld, Amy Sturges received $1.4 million. The couple said they had already planned to purchase a new camper prior to winning the prize. “Maybe now I can get an upgrade,” said Warren Sturges.
Lottery ticket purchasers must be at least 21 years of age. Draw-style game tickets must be claimed within 180 days of the drawing. Anyone who may have a gambling problem or friends and family of anyone with a gambling problem should call toll free 1-877-770-7867 for help.
For security purposes, the Lottery strongly encourages players to sign the back of their tickets immediately after purchasing. More information about other Powerball winners can be found in the “Meet Our Winners” section of the Lottery’s website, www.louisianalottery.com.