A child services worker from Hiatwatha who’d never played the Powerball game before had her intuition pay off with an 850-thousand dollar prize. 26-year-old Alicia Rhomberg matched five numbers in Wednesday’s drawing and just missed the 340-million dollar jackpot after missing the powerball number.
Rhomberg says it was probably the big jackpot and a “natural hunch” that she was going to win that made her purchase five dollars in Powerball plays. Rhomberg can’t say where the hunch came from. She says she can’t exactly explain it,”It’s a just a feeling I had. A very solid feeling. And I’m very happy I acted on it. I recommend doing that.”
Rhomberg works the overnight shift a center in Cedar Rapids and didn’t check her numbers until she got off work early this morning. She says she didn’t really know how the game is played and thought she didn’t win anything since she didn’t match all of the numbers. She says she kept it because she was happy to get five numbers right and called someone who told her she could win a very large prize. Rhomberg won 200-thousand dollars for the winning ticket and 645-thousand dollars out of a special pool created in 2002 to increase the prize for those who come close during record jackpots.
Rhomberg is not lamenting the fact that her winnings are 339-million dollars less than the person who picked all six numbers in Oregon. She says, “I was very happy. And as far as not winning the 340-million, that’s completely fine with me. I’m very happy for the person that did get it.”
Rhomberg is studying to be an elementary teacher at Kirkwood College in Cedar Rapids, and says the money will help pay for that education. She says she’ll also put money aside for her one-year-old daughter’s education and invest the rest. She says, “I’m not a very frivolous person, so I’m just going to go slow and make positive choices with it.” Rhomberg will take home some 600-thousand dollars after taxes. She says she plans to play again and will know what to do if she wins a jackpot.