WA Lottery reveals Auburn woman as winner of $754.6 million Powerball jackpot

An Auburn woman has won the $754.6 million Powerball jackpot.

Washington’s Lottery announced on March 3 that Becky Bell, a supply chain analyst for the Boeing Company for nearly 36 years, had claimed the $754.6 million Powerball jackpot that was drawn on Feb. 6.

Bell bought the winning ticket while she was grocery shopping with her daughter Feb. 5 at the Auburn Fred Meyer at 801 Auburn Way N. As Bell told WA Lottery officials, when she saw a sign on the Lottery vending machine showing the estimated jackpot at $747 million, it occured to her that Boeing had just that week delivered its last 747 jumbo jet.

“That’s when it hit me … I had to buy one more ticket,” Bell said.

The jackpot swelled to $747 million before the drawing, but final ticket sales bulked it up to the fifth largest payout in the game’s history. Bell elected the cash option of $404 million, which comes out to about $310 million after taxes, according to Joshua Johnston,.Deputy Director of Washington’s Lottery

Bell’s was the second winning Powerball ticket sold in Washington state. In 2014, a woman won the $90 million jackpot after she bought her winning ticket in Auburn. There have also been five million-dollar winners in Michigan and New York, and a $2 million winner in Texas.

Winning players have 180 days from the drawing date to claim their prize. By law, the prizes that aren’t claimed are placed into a reserve account.

In addition, whatever store sells the winning ticket gets a $50,000 bonus from the Washington State Lottery. The Auburn Fred Meyer store decided not to keep that bonus, and instead gave away every penny to the Auburn Food Bank, with whom it has worked for years.

However, the Auburn Fred Meyer will get a $10,000 from Fred Meyer to have a store celebration. The employees will vote on how they want to spend that.