The $220 Million Powerball Winner Who Stayed Humble

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  • Author:
    Shaun Greer
  • Published:

Here’s the incredible story of one Powerball winner who not only kept his jackpot a secret for weeks but also stayed incredibly humble in life after winning.

You would assume that upon learning of a Powerball jackpot win, you would probably be so excited that you’d shout the news from the rooftops. You might call your friends and family and cheese from ear to ear during the press release. Like many Powerball winners, you might upgrade your home, buy a few new cars, and make significant contributions to charity. And there would be absolutely nothing problematic with that level of enthusiasm upon winning millions of dollars.

However, in one Powerball winner story, Brad Duke opted to do things a little differently. He didn’t tell anyone about his winning ticket for weeks. And his approach to life-changing wealth was uncharacteristically humble for a guy who scored $220 million.

Humbled by His Powerball Win

It was 2005 when Idaho native Brad Duke learned about his winning Powerball ticket. He had taken it into the gas station to verify and was shocked to see all the bells and whistles. But even then, he didn’t bother to really look into how much he had won. He said in a post-Powerball-win interview that he went about his day like usual, quasi-excited that he might have won $10,000 or $20,000. He admitted to having daydreamed a little about how he might invest a few thousand dollars. But in the beginning, it never occurred to him that he had actually won any more.

Keeping It Under Wraps

Brad Duke didn’t realize how big his jackpot was until days later. His first call was to his dad, and that was the extent of his communication with anyone about the winning ticket. His dad brainstormed with him about organizing tax attorney and financial advisor partnerships. He also got himself a publicist and banker. And that took several weeks before Brad even brought home his $220 million Powerball jackpot.

What He Bought First

Unlike most Powerball winners who race out to buy new cars or bigger homes, Brad Duke splurged on a new bicycle. He fancied himself a fan of cycling and always wanted one of those expensive bikes. So, that’s what he invested in first. In an interview several years after his big win, Duke confirmed he still owned that first-purchase bike. And he admitted to driving his old used car for another three years or so before finally upgrading his primary mode of transportation.

He Didn’t Quit His Job Either

Being the humble and responsible Powerball winner that he was, Brad Duke didn’t quit his job upon learning of his big win. He admitted to staying on with his employer, teaching his morning spin class for another two and a half years post-jackpot win.

Crazy Offers Around Every Corner

Brad Duke said he felt fortunate that his friends and family remained loyal and supportive even after having won the Powerball jackpot. He was aware of how other winners lost friends and had ended relationships because of money. And he was able to stay humble and grounded enough that the people in his life were able to adjust with him. Although, he did say that he continued to get some of the craziest investment offers, including plans to build time machines and invest in bizarre new inventions. Of course, with his methodical nature, he didn’t end up chasing any of those ideas down any rabbit holes.

Brad Duke demonstrates how remaining calm, cool, and collected can make the Powerball win even sweeter. He took all the right steps in the beginning, including keeping his news to himself until he was prepared to move forward. And his ability to stay humble might stretch every jackpot dollar to its fullest.

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