Ham Lake man claims share of Powerball jackpot

Ham Lake resident Paul White is one of three winners of Wednesday’s $448.4 million Powerball jackpot.Paul_White-lgWhite, 45, was at Minnesota State Lottery headquarters Thursday where his winning numbers were verified.

“I have faith that a lot of good things are going to come out of this – not  only for my family and my friends but for random people,” White said during a news conference Thursday.

White was at work when he learned of his Powerball win. He is a project engineer at Elliot Contracting, an electrical contractor, in Minneapolis.

White said he will take the $58.3 million cash payout option. He will have to wait two weeks before his bank account will get the big boost.

Before winning the lottery White said, “anybody could balance my check book.”

White, along with two winners from New Jersey will split the third largest jackpot in Powerball’s history.

With a 16-year-old son and a 14-year-old daughter, White said he won’t have to worry about sending his kids to college or paying for any of his family’s medical needs.

“All these things, you’ll never have to worry about them again,” White said. “They’re just gone.”

He purchased the ticket at Holiday Stationstore in Ham Lake, located at Highway 65 and Crosstown Boulevard.

White said he typically doesn’t play the Powerball unless the prize gets up over a couple hundred million dollars.

“I’m more of a scratch off guy,” White said of his lottery playing habits.

White said he is lucky his parents are still alive to share in his newfound wealth. And while they don’t need his money, “imagine what it’s like to say go pick out your own car, your own house. Whatever you want.”

He plans to go out and buy his 80-year-old father a 1963 Impala – a replica of the first car his dad ever owned.

He’s also had his eye on a rare Acura NSX sportscar from 1991, listed on Craigslist for $30,000.

White also said he looks forward to getting involved in charity.

As for work, White said he won’t be employed by anybody else again, but he’ll need to find something to keep himself busy.

“I’ve spent my whole life to figure out what I want to do when I grow up,” White said. “Now I get to do whatever I want.”

White said his girlfriend Kim VanReese will have to decide for herself if she wants to keep working at the Brooklyn Park printing company where she has been employed for 25 years.

“It will buy us conveniences but I hope we stay grounded,” VanReese said.

White told reporters he probably won’t play the lottery in the future.

“It’s a matter of can you get lucky and change your life,” he said. “And it’s happened. It’s not going to happen again.”

White has lived in the northern suburbs since moving to the Twin Cities in 1987 with five high school friends from Rhinelander, Wisc.

He said he likes small-town living in Ham Lake.

“We’ll stay in that area, maybe just not in the same house,” White said.

Mandy Moran Froemming is at [email protected]