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Iowa winner splits $2 million with stepfather

Ben Sanford

Drawing Date: 7/29/2022

August 26, 2022 - A Davenport, Iowa, man claimed a $2 million Mega Millions® prize on Friday that he won in the game’s giant jackpot drawing nearly a month earlier and planned to split the winnings with his stepfather.

Ben Sanford said he had known since shortly after the July 29 drawing that he had won big, but waited to claim the prize while he and his stepfather made plans for the winnings. Ben and Jason Sanford said they usually buy tickets together and have always said that they would split their winnings.

Ben Sanford, 37, said he bought six plays for the Mega Millions drawing on July 29. The game’s jackpot that night had climbed to more than $1.3 billion, the second-highest grand prize ever offered in the game.
One of Sanford’s easy-pick tickets matched the first five numbers that night to initially win $1 million. But Sanford had added the Megaplier® option to his purchase, which multiplied the total winnings to $2 million.

The winning numbers in the July 29 drawing were: 13-36-45-57-67 and Mega Ball 14. The Megaplier number was 2.

Ben Sanford said he checked his tickets the night of the drawing, and yelped in surprise when he realized that one of them had hit big. He said he immediately went downstairs to share the news with his stepdad, who was half-asleep while watching sports and asked if they could talk about it in the morning.

The next day, Jason Sanford said it all became very real for both of them. The two said they plan to carefully invest the winnings, although Ben Sanford may get a new car.

Ben Sanford bought his ticket at the Big 10 Mart, 999 Middle Road in Bettendorf, which will receive a $2,000 bonus from the Iowa Lottery for selling the $2 million-winning ticket.