Leon Poche Jr.'s Powerball winner photo
HometownPicayune, Ms
RetailerRiverside Travel Center

Leon Poche Jr. of Picayune, Miss. was on a one-week Caribbean cruise with his wife when he discovered he held a winning Powerball ticket worth $1 million. The 67-year-old matched all five numbers in the Dec. 8 Powerball drawing but missed the red Powerball number.

The couple stashed the winning ticket in a safety box in their cabin, and Kathy Poche called their daughter from the ship to verify that they'd matched five numbers.

"I thought we won $400," she admitted. Their daughter verified the numbers were correct and told them the actual prize amount was $1 million. That's when Kathy Poche told her daughter she had to get off the phone because she was being charged by the minute.

Leon Poche Jr. shared that the couple almost didn't go on the cruise because just a week before his wife had become ill; however, she refused to waste her money. "If we had hit the Powerball jackpot, I would've flown home from one of the ports!" he exclaimed.

Leon Poche Jr. received $700,000 after federal and state taxes were withheld. He said he plans to use the money to do something for his four children.  "I have always wanted to help them. It took a lot," he said when collecting his prize at Lottery headquarters in Baton Rouge.

Riverside Travel Center in Pearl River will receive a one-time bonus of $10,000 for selling the winning ticket.

Lottery ticket purchasers must be at least 21 years of age. Draw-style game tickets must be claimed within 180 days of the drawing. Anyone who may have a gambling problem or friends and family of anyone with a gambling problem should call toll free 1-877-770-7867 for help.

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