Self-styled ‘hillbilly’ is ‘pissed at Uncle Sam’ for taking 29% of his $225 million lottery jackpot

By Agence France-Presse
Friday, August 31, 2012 20:10 EDT
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Powerball lottery via AFP
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A US railroad engineer and self-described “hillbilly” is less than impressed that the tax man is getting a big chunk of the $337 million he won in the latest Powerball lottery.

Donald Lawson, 44, of Lapeer, Michigan, who retains the accent of his native Arkansas, came forward on Friday as the winner of the seventh-biggest jackpot in US lottery history.

“My living situation will be improved,” deadpanned Lawson at a press conference hosted by the Michigan state lottery, adding however that he fully intends to keep eating at McDonald’s.

“This money won’t last forever unless I use it right and budget it right,” the father of two added.

“It’s not a lot — 337 million — but I’m kind of pissed at Uncle Sam” because, after state and federal taxes, Lawson will be left with $158.7 million after opting for a $224.6 million lump sum payout.

The biggest jackpot ever in the United States was $656 million, shared in March by the holders of three like-numbered Mega Millions tickets sold in Illinois, Kansas and Maryland.

Powerball winners typically have the option of collecting their windfall over 29 years as an annuity, which is more tax efficient, or a reduced amount in one fell swoop.

AFP Photo/Tim Boyle

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
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