Earlier this year, a Wisconsin native American couple took home a cool $326.3 million, making them the latest multi-millionaires in the state.
Powerball players enjoy buying tickets and playing, in part, because of all the heart-warming winner stories that emerge almost weekly. Even non-jackpot prizes can be extraordinarily life-changing. And in another inspiring Powerball winner tale of 2022, a married couple in Wisconsin becomes multi-millionaires overnight. And they’re the first Native American couple in the state to win the jackpot. Here’s their story.
Earlier in 2022, Cliff and Tammy Webster of Oneida, Wisconsin, decided to buy a Powerball ticket. Much to their surprise, they managed to match the winning numbers drawn, sealing their fate as Powerball jackpot winners. The prize total was $632 million, which was the second-largest Powerball jackpot in history and the seventh-largest overall lottery prize at the time. The couple split the jackpot with another winner from Sacramento, California, meaning their allocated prize totaled $316.3 million. Opting for the lump-sum, and after paying $54 million in federal taxes and $17.2 million in state taxes, the Websters walked away with $153.9 million, changing their lives forever.
It was 4:30 in the morning when Tammy Webster was getting ready for work, watching the early news. She heard the anchor say there were two winning tickets sold for the previous night’s Powerball drawing, one from California and the other from Wisconsin. She thought, “what are the odds of us winning?” Certain they were among the non-winners, Cliff Webster went ahead and grabbed the Powerball ticket to check the numbers anyway. “I noticed my second number matched, then some others,” he shared. In total disbelief, the couple turned to each other elated and dumbfounded. They began hugging and yelling as it was understandably “one of the happiest moments of my life,” Cliff said.
The Powerball ticket had the winning lineup of digits of 6, 14, 25, 33, 46, and the Powerball 17.
The Websters are Native Americans living in Oneida, in Brown County. Cliff is Oneida, and Tammy is part Oneida and part Sioux. Both are members of the Oneida Nation. The couple purchased their winning ticket at the Jackson Pointe Citgo in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
“This is a wonderful blessing,” Cliff said. And Tammy said, “we are sincerely grateful.” The excitement overflowed elsewhere, too, including with the Wisconsin Lottery Director, Cindy Polzin, who said their office was “thrilled for the Websters.” Even the gas station manager, Mary Willems, expressed that she had “goosebumps all over,” sharing in the excitement within the community. Because her store sold the winning ticket, her Citgo received $100,000.
The Websters may have been some of the biggest Powerball winners in Wisconsin, but they’re certainly not the only state residents taking home life-changing Powerball prizes. Since Powerball’s debut in the northern state back in 1992, there have been 19 Powerball jackpot winners. Among the U.S. states offering Powerball, Wisconsin is within the top five most winningest states. More recently, in June of 2020, a pair of friends from Menomonie split a $22 million jackpot. And another couple won a record-setting $768.4 million from New Berlin, Wisconsin. In Wisconsin, Powerball winners are required by law to be publicly identified; however, winners can elect not to participate in any news conferences or additional coverage.
This Powerball winner story only fuels the excitement and enthusiasm of players everywhere. Lives are changed with almost every drawing, even for those who win non-jackpot prizes. That sense of possibility makes it incredibly fun to play. Stay hopeful and keep dreaming. You could end up just like the Native American couple in Wisconsin, and as Tammy Webster put it, “it’s a dream come true.”