It's an exciting time for two very lucky Iowans. They're involved in a nationwide drawing that could make them millionaires.

Soon they'll find out if they are the winner of a $1 million Powerball prize. According to a press release from the Iowa Lottery, for the first time ever, two of five finalists for the Powerball First Millionaire of the Year promotion are from Iowa. The promotion, in its third year, offers players the chance to enter their losing lottery tickets into the drawing for this grand prize. This is the first time that a single state has had more than one finalist.

Who Are The Two Iowa Finalists for Powerball First Millionaire of the Year 2022?

Iowa's two finalists are Shari Beenken of Titonka and Rob Long of Waterloo. Beenken is a 57-year-old office administrator who entered Powerball tickets she had purchased into the drawing. Long is a 50-year-old warehouse associate who entered tickets that he bought with a group of his co-workers, friends, and family who all pooled their money together. That group is called Lotto 22.

With two of the five finalists, Iowa has a 40 percent chance of having the $1 million winner. We'll take those odds! The winner will be announced and awarded during "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2022." The special Powerball drawing will take place just after midnight in the New Year.

As you can imagine, these two Iowans are extremely excited.

My heart was just beating and I started to have tears in my eyes and it’s like, ‘Oh, my word! Oh, my word!’ You know, it’s just a dream!” Beeken told the Iowa Lottery.

If they don't win at least they got a nice prize for just being a finalist. They each got $2,500 for being a preliminary winner. Once they made the final five, they each received "a $10,000 cash prize and a home party package also valued at $10,000, including a 70-inch LED TV, karaoke system, premium laptop computer, and deluxe dinner for eight."

Iowa Lottery
Iowa Lottery

What Will the Iowa Powerball First Millionaire of the Year Finalists Do WIth Their Winnings?

Beenken said her and her husband will put the majority into their retirement, and spend a little. She said she needs a new dishwasher. Long says his group will split the winnings, with each member receiving about $45,500 before taxes. Long and his wife want to get a newer vehicle and he's always wanted a Donkey Kong machine.

The finalists will be celebrating in their homes while the Powerball First Millionaire of the Year is revealed just after midnight EST.


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