$1 million prize will help family with medical bills, housing need
A hard-working Bowie man who is struggling to care for his ailing wife and keep up with mounting medical bills saw his prayers answered on Feb. 1. He won a $1 million second-tier Powerball prize!
The Ford auto mechanic thanks his recently deceased mother for helping with the win, which will ease his financial struggles and those of the loved ones she left behind. In late January, when he heard his 85-year-old mother was dying, the father of three boarded a plane for a 20-hour flight to his native country of Laos (officially the Lao People’s Democratic Republic). His mother lived there with his brother and more than 10 nieces and nephews.
The 64-year-old attended her funeral and reunited with the family he left behind in 1985. He had worked for the U.S. military in Laos as an auto mechanic and, when political unrest in his country threatened his life, the U.S. government granted political asylum to the man, his wife and children. They fled to America and the Prince George’s County man has only returned to his native land twice for visits.
While overseas grieving for his mother, he prayed to her for help for his family in America and in Laos. He thought he heard her say, “I want you to buy a Lottery ticket. I will make sure you are taken care of and all of your nieces and nephews are taken care of.”
The man flew back to New York City and was headed home, driving south on Interstate 95, when he stopped at the Maryland House rest area. “I saw they were selling Lottery tickets so I spent $15 for Mega Millions and Powerball,” our winner said. He let the machine pick the numbers, put the tickets in his wallet and didn’t check them until Feb. 5. A store clerk said the Powerball ticket was such a big winner the man could only claim his prize at Lottery headquarters.
His oldest daughter checked the winning numbers and verified that her dad was a millionaire. “We danced the whole evening!” she said.
The winnings will help change the lives of many. Until recently, the man and his wife lived in Crofton. He put their multi-level home on the market and moved in with his daughter until the house sells because his wife’s illness requires one-level living. He plans to pay bills, buy a single-level home here, build a house in Laos to stay in during visits and financially help his Laos relatives and his adult children.