Cold cash! Sioux City attorney's frozen lottery ticket wins a Powerball prize

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Sioux City attorney Tim Bottaro is the latest to win a big prize in the Iowa Lottery’s Powerball game. PHOTO: Iowa Lottery

It took Tim Bottaro a week before he could check his ticket for the Powerball game, and then he did something quite strange.

You’d expect the Sioux City attorney to keep the ticket in a safe. But he stored the winning paper in his refrigerator, saying later that he figured it was fireproof.

"I'm relieved that it's out of my hands and it's official," Bottaro told lottery officials Oct. 29 as he claimed his prize at the lottery's regional office in Council Bluffs.

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Bottaro purchased his winning ticket at Petro Mart on Highway 30 in Missouri Valley. PHOTO: Tim Palmer - Google Maps.

After his ticket purchase he didn’t get a chance to check his ticket until more than a week after the drawing.

He matched four white balls and the Powerball in the October 17th drawing to win $50,000.

Bottaro says he didn’t sleep the night after he discovered he’d won the big prize:

"I put it in the freezer of my refrigerator because I figured it's fireproof," he said. "And who, if they break in, would ever look there? So I literally had cold cash."

Bottaro, a lawyer, was one number away from winning that evening's $378 million jackpot, but isn't spending time wondering about what could've been.

"I had a friend say, 'Oh, if you had one more number, you would've won the jackpot.' I said to him, 'You know, I checked the odds, and it's one in 913,000.' I said, I'm not complaining about anything, and I'm not thinking about woulda-coulda-shoulda."

He said he hasn't decided what he'll do with his winnings, but he'll never complain about bad luck again.

"'Oh, just my luck': I'll never say that again," he said.

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