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Two Iowans among finalists for $1 million prize in Powerball’s New Year’s drawing

Two Iowans are among 5 finalists to become the Powerball's First Millionaire of 2022.
Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 11:00 AM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Iowa has a 40 percent chance of having a $1 million prize winner.

That’s because two Iowans are among the five national finalists to become the Powerball’s First Millionaire of 2022.

This is the third year for the “Powerball First Millionaire of the Year” promotion, and just the first year one state has had more than one finalist for the prize.

The finalists from Iowa are Rob Long, 50, a warehouse associate in Waterloo, and Shari Beenken, 57, an office administrator from Titonka in north central Iowa.

The $1 million prize will be awarded after a special Powerball drawing just after midnight in the new year.

The winner will be announced live on air during ABC’s broadcast of “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2022″ from New York’s Time Square.

Beenken and Long both talked about what they might do if either of them won the money.

“I need a new dishwasher! I’m not extravagant,” Beenken said.

Long said he would split the prize money with the group of family, friends and co-workers who pooled their money to buy the tickets - a group he referred to as “Lotto 22.”

“I’ve always wanted a Donkey Kong machine, so I’m gonna find me a Donkey Kong machine and play some Donkey Kong in our basement,” Long said. He also said his wife would like a newer vehicle, so he would likely put some of the money toward that.

Whether they win or not, each finalist will receive a $10,000 cash prize and a home party package also valued at $10,000, including a 70-inch LED TV, karaoke system, laptop computer, and deluxe dinner for eight.

The other finalists are from Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and Illinois.

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