The newest Kansas Lottery Millionaire has made himself known.
Richard Van Tuyl, Jr. of Leavenworth appeared at Lottery headquarters Friday afternoon with a Powerball ticket worth $1,000,000. The ticket matched the first five numbers, but not the Powerball, in the Wednesday, January 24 drawing. Van Tuyl’s $2 Quick Pick ticket had the numbers 5-9-11-33-64 Powerball 17. Had his Powerball number been 21, he would have won a $92 million jackpot.
“Of course I wouldn’t have turned that down,” said the 59-year-old winner with a laugh. “But I thank the Good Lord for what I got.”
Van Tuyl described himself as an occasional player. He said he may get a ticket for every Powerball drawing for a few weeks, and then not play at all for two or three months.
“I do get almost daily inspiration, though,” disclosed the big winner. “Every day when I drive from Leavenworth to my work in Kansas City, I drive right by the big Kansas Lottery jackpot billboard!”
Van Tuyl was inspired enough to stop at a convenience store Wednesday night to get a Powerball ticket after going out for dinner.
“I put the ticket in my sun visor, parked the truck in the garage, and slept great that night. Didn’t give it another thought,” he said.
“The next day I pulled up the Powerball numbers from the night before on my phone, and there I am, holding my phone in one hand and my ticket in the other. My eyes were saying ‘yes,’ but my brain was saying ‘no.’”
After returning to the store where he bought the ticket and having the clerk print out the winning numbers and then consulting his sister, he was finally convinced he really had won a $1,000,000 prize.
“I signed the back of the ticket right away, put it in an envelope, and put it back in the sun visor of my truck,” said Van Tuyl. “When I got home, however, I did bring it in the house. I was afraid my truck might catch on fire or something.”
Van Tuyl works for a construction company in the Kansas City area and is also involved in his family’s farming operation near Leavenworth. He and his wife Tammy have two grown children and four grandchildren.
“I’m going to pay bills, pay off my house and put the rest in the bank for now,” the lucky winner said. Van Tuyl told Lottery officials his daughter is married to a Marine who will soon be assigned to security at the U.S. embassy in Malta, an island nation located in the central Mediterranean. Van Tuyl is now planning a trip there.
Van Tuyl bought his $1,000,000 Powerball ticket at Star Gas, located at 788 Spruce Street in Leavenworth. The store is eligible to receive a $1,000 bonus for selling the ticket.