Powerball winner quit job weeks before to care for dementia-battling wife

Powerball payout check - WANE

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE)- A Fort Wayne man became a millionaire overnight after realizing he won Saturday night’s Powerball drawing.

Rudolf Serna just got back from Indianapolis where he picked up his check. Serna said he’s not planning any fancy vacations or big purchases. He said the money will go to something much more important.

His wife is battling dementia and that money will come in handy for medical bills. According to Serna the winning could not have come at a better time.

“I had actually given my two weeks notice before this… just a couple weeks ago,” he said. “That ways I could spend my time with my wife. This is going to help out a lot.”

Serna said his wife’s illness has escalated quickly and she needs care around the clock.

“It came on real early,” he said. “My wife is only 58. It’s been a learning experience”

Serna routinely stops at Circle G Food Mart located at 2420 Jefferson. He typically buys coffee and donuts, but this time he added a couple of lottery tickets to his tab.

He didn’t think much of that purchase until today when he took the tickets in to see if he won.

The ticket sold at the store matched the first five numbers drawn Saturday evening, but not the Powerball number. Because the ticket included Power Play, it’s value increased from $1 million to $2 million.

“They told me and when they said the power play made it two million, that was a real shock!” said Serna.

After taxes Serna ended up with a 1.4 million dollar check ready to go in the bank.

The store’s owner Jesse Singh said he’s glad to be a part of this life-changing moment. Singh said he opened the store just over a year ago, and said there’s no doubt it’s lucky.

“It’s been proven that this is a lucky spot,” he said. “This is a lucky terminal and lucky hands. So I’m happy about that.”

As for Serna, he’s grateful for winning, but he said the plan is to just continue living a simple life.

“At our age if you don’t have what you want you’re not going to get it,” he said. “So basically we’re frugal people, it’s going to be saved.”

The winning numbers drawn Saturday, July 2 were 10-34-39-59-63. The Powerball number was 4.

Meanwhile, the Mega Millions jackpot has grown to $454 million, which is the third largest ever for the multi-state game. Tickets will be sold up until 10:44 p.m. EDT. The drawing takes place at 11 p.m.

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