Has Montana Ever Had A Powerball Winner?

When the Powerball jackpot would get over 1 billion dollars, my dad would break down and buy a ticket. He wasn't a gambling man at all, but like they say "you can't win if you don't play"

Which got me to thinking, has there ever been a Montana resident who won the jackpot when playing Powerball.

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What Is The Powerball?

Powerball is an American lottery game that is held in 45 states along with District of Columbia, Puerto Rice and the US Virgin Islands.

It used to be called Lotto America which started in 1988, but was renamed to Powerball on April 19th 1992, with the very first Powerball drawing happened on April 22nd 1992.

Montana was one of the states that participated in Lotto America, the first drawing residents could win in was on November 9th, 1989.

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Kim Claassen and Joe Lamport Jr.

The biggest Powerball winners in Montana came in 2010, and the story is crazier than how much they won according to the Powerball website.

Kim Claassen and Joe Lamport Jr. became Montana’s biggest Powerball winners on June 23, 2010 when they won half of a $96 million jackpot. The other winning ticket was sold in Ohio. Kim and Joe were given a major scare before they claimed their prize, though, as Kim had torn the ticket into four pieces and thrown it in the trash, believing it to be a losing entry. However, she had mistakenly been looking at the numbers from the previous drawing. Kim then had to retrieve the ticket the next day after a colleague told her that a winning entry had been sold at the Town Pump on North Montana Avenue in Helena, which is where she had played.

Kim pieced the ticket back together again and its authenticity was verified when she dropped into the Montana Lottery headquarters just up the road. Kim and Joe, who had worked together in healthcare for several years, decided to take the lump sum of $25 million rather than the annuity option of $48 million, and said they would enjoy the money with their families. Kim, who was recently divorced, said she would even help out her ex-husband.

Could you imagine the sinking feeling if you threw away a ticket that was literally life changing?

LOOK: The largest lottery jackpots in US history

Stacker compiled a list of the 15 largest lottery jackpots in U.S. history from news reports and lottery press releases. [This list is current as of July 25, 2023.]

Gallery Credit: Chandler Friedman

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Gallery Credit: Billy Jenkins