IRON MOUNTAIN — With a $1.6 billion up for grabs, gas stations and convenience stores couldn’t print Powerball tickets fast enough over the last seven to ten days.
“Normally we do $200 of lotto a day,” said Chuck Smith, store manager of Freedom Valu Center in Iron Mountain. “We’ve probably been doing close to $2,000 a day.”
In 36 years of service, Smith has printed thousands of tickets for people hoping to win big.
“Lot’s of dreams, you know everyone had dreams if they won the whole thing,” said Smith.
When Smith began his shift Thursday morning, he didn’t know that his store had sold a winning ticket.
“It feels good,” said Smith. “It’s a good feeling.”
As it turns out, Smith knows the man who is now a million dollars richer.
“He had gone to work and his boss and everybody were checking their tickets. He checked his tickets after he got to work and his boss gave him a ride back to here to run it through a machine and verify that it was a winner. He’s here everyday at lunch time. He comes in and buys a ticket and buys gas,” said Smith.
The man’s ticket matched all five white numbers, but not the red Powerball number. Officials with the Michigan State Lottery say that the man cannot remain anonymous and he has a year to claim his prize.
Just for printing the winning ticket, the gas station will receive $5,000.
“It’s going to put us on the map,” Smith added.