Joshua Earls was hauling fuel when he popped into Sonora Pilot Travel Center back in November. This was when the Powerball was making nationwide headlines with a record-breaking jackpot of $1.9 billion, and Earls wanted a chance at the massive prize.
At the travel center, he purchased five sets of numbers on the lottery vending machine, these were numbers of his own choosing.
“I just looked and picked what numbers looked good to me at the time,” he said.
He also opted for the Power Play feature on his tickets. “I always play Power Play. It’s only a dollar more so why not,” he said.
Little did he know, the decision he made at the truck stop that day would pay off in a significant way.
While fueling his truck in Nashville, Earls checked his ticket.
“I saw those numbers match. It was exciting. I was in disbelief,” he said.
It turns out, his ticket matched four of the white ball numbers and the Powerball, which meant a $50,000 prize payout, except Earls had opted for Power Play, meaning his winnings would be doubled to $100,000.
Earls excitedly shared the news with his wife, who didn’t believe him at first. “She asked me to send a pic and when I did, she was in shock,” he said.
He later told lottery officials he was a “nervous wreck” after his discovery that he was in possession of a winning ticket.