Geismar man claims $1 million Powerball prize

One number was all that separated Jerry Cockerham from a share of Wednesday’s nearly $450 million Powerball jackpot.

Still, the 60-year-old Geismar man claimed a not-too-shabby prize of $1 million on Friday from Louisiana Lottery Corp. for correctly picking all five white numbers in the Powerball drawing.

Cockerham purchased the winning ticket at Pit Stop Petroleum in LaPlace, where he usually stops for coffee and lottery tickets on his way to work, according to a Louisiana Lottery news release.

Cockerham’s wife, Deborah Owens, told lottery officials that the couple found out they had the winning ticket Thursday only after seeing news reports that a winning ticket had been bought in LaPlace.

“I think they’re looking for you, Jerry,” Owens said at the time.

Cockerham received $700,000 after federal and state taxes were withheld, the release says.

“We’re going to make it grow,” Owens said, when asked how the couple would spend the prize.

Pit Stop Petroleum will receive a $10,000 bonus, 1 percent of the prize, for selling the winning ticket.

Lottery officials said there were at least three winning jackpot tickets nationwide, including one in Minnesota and two in New Jersey, said Natalie Ducote, a Louisiana Lottery spokeswoman.

The $448.4 million jackpot is the third-largest ever. The three jackpot winner’s tickets are worth a lump sum of $86 million each, or $58.3 million after taxes. If the winners choose the 30-year annuity option, the tickets will be worth $149.4 million each, not including tax deductions.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.