An Asian immigrant who lives in Webster City is claiming a one-million-dollar prize in the Iowa Lottery’s “Lifetime Riches” scratch game. Twenty-nine-year-old Aenoi Phetxoumphone purchased his ticket at the Casey’s store in Webster City on Friday and showed up at the Iowa Lottery headquarters in Des Moines Monday to cash it in.

Phetxoumphone describes what he did after discovering he’d won. “Turned back around to go home and then called my wife at work to tell her. She didn’t want to believe me,” he says, laughing. Phetxoumphone said he was stunned about his lucking into the million-dollar prize as he’s not an avid lottery buff.

He says: “I don’t really play that much, it’s not even every weekend either, it’s just when I decide to, you know?” Phetxoumphone came to Iowa 13 years ago from California. He was born in a refugee camp in Thailand. His parents came to America from Laos to escape war and political upheaval. Phetxoumphone says he’ll try to spend his winnings using common sense.

“I’m just going to hold off for a while and get caught up on some bills,” he says. Phetxoumphone currently works as a machine operator at Automatic Machine Products in Webster City. He will take home a lump sum payment of $650,000, which netted $455,000 after state and federal taxes.

By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City