As the Powerball jackpot continues to grow, so do your hopes of walking into your boss’s office slapping down your two weeks notice and exclaiming “I quit this job!” 

At some point, you thought you’d keep working after you won a huge lottery jackpot. Maybe you love the field and there’s a level of accomplishment you want to reach. Maybe you spend all of your time at work and you don’t have many friends outside the office. Maybe you needed a reason to get out of bed and leave the house every day. 

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But the older you get? You’re more and more comfortable with the idea of leaving it all behind. Financial freedom means that you don’t have to just “get through” those bad days at work. It also means that you’ve got time to pursue your passions. Run that marathon. Create that non-profit you’ve had an idea for. Visit those vacation spots and family members you rarely, if ever, make it to visit. 

Only five Idahoans have had the opportunity to weigh the pros and cons of continuing to work following their big win! These are the folks who were lucky enough to strike it rich after the game started in 1992. 

Martha and Fred Gibbons

In November 1992, the couple became Idaho’s first Powerball winners when they hit the jackpot for $22.1 million.  The Lewiston Tribune recapped the immediate aftermath of the Gibbons’ win, revealing that Fred went to his job at Micron and their son went through the entire school day at Meridian Middle without knowing that his parents had just become millionaires.  In the Idaho Lottery’s “Winners Guide,” Martha said the only big purchase she made the first year was a new car. The couple ultimately decided on taking the yearly annuity payments so that they wouldn’t be tempted to overspend. Those 20 checks were around $887,000 after taxes. 

Powerball Jackpot Reaches A Re222cord $550 Million
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Pam Hiatt

America fell in love with Pam Hiatt and that’s probably because her lottery story was so endearing. She was expecting a baby and serving in the Idaho National Guard as an Apache helicopter mechanic. Hiatt stopped at a Jacksons store in Boise on the way to work and used her regular strategy: play the ages of her family members. She had forgotten that her little brother had just turned 8 the week before and accidentally played the numbers 7-20-21-26-27 and Powerball 45 which were the correct numbers for the $87.5 Million jackpot. Like the Gibbons, she chose the 20-year annuity payments that worked out to about $3.1 million per year after taxes. 


Hiatt appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman after her win and revealed that she used a significant portion of that first check to buy new cars for everyone in her family. We also know that she built a pretty incredible home with the money. We stumbled upon a listing for an incredible $3.95 million mansion in Hidden Springs in 2020. When we shared the listing, we had no idea it was Hiatt’s lottery home until our listeners started tipping us off. If you want to see the vision she had for the home, you can visit that story in our archives HERE. 

Hugh and Janice Robinson

The Robinsons went from living in Hailey to being among the Sun Valley elite on Christmas Day in 1996. According to the Spokesman-Review, Hugh picked up the ticket on the way home from Idaho Falls. They also chose the annuity option and received 20 checks for about $1.74 million. At the time of their win, Hugh was a limousine driver in Sun Valley and Janice worked at Atkinson’s Market. 

Eric Kyle

Who would you tell first if you won the Powerball? The Spokesman-Review reveals that in February 2005, Eric Kyle sort of told his roommate first. Actually, he asked his roommate to double-check his ticket before calling Idaho Lottery officials. We don’t blame him for calling in for a day off after finding out that he won $18.7 million. He planned to use that money on a trip, a car, his parents and younger siblings. Did he ever go back to working at Copper Kitchen? We’re not sure. 

Brad Duke

YouTube/Lottery Changed My Life
YouTube/Lottery Changed My Life

Brad’s probably the most famous Powerball winner from Idaho. $220.3 million jackpot in 2005 and put some of it toward the Duke Family Foundation. The foundation hosts an annual golf tournament whose proceeds go toward non-profits supporting kids like Big Brothers, Big Sisters and Salvation Army. He said having the late Micron CEO, Steve Appleton, as a mentor helped him navigate his newfound wealth in a positive manner that benefited the community. He bought his ticket at the SAME store as Pam Hiatt. 

The Idaho Lottery recently did a “Where is Brad Duke Now?” video, where he revealed that one of the best things he got to do after the win was give back to his alma mater, Salmon High School, in the form of a new track and field stadium. Duke was on the track team in high school and the school had a dirt track. That disqualified it from being a site where athletes could qualify for the state meet. His stadium included an all-weather track.

Powerball Jackpot Climbs Past $1 Billion

Believe it or not, there have only been FOUR Powerball jackpot winners in 2023: one in February, one in March, one in April and a $1.08 billion winner in July. That last winner was drawn on July 19 and the jackpot for Wednesday, October 4 has soared to $1.2 billion, the third largest prize in the game’s 31-year history.

If you want to buy a ticket (or 10) for the drawing you have until 7:55 MT/6:55 PT on the night of the draw to purchase it from an Idaho Lottery retailer.

KEEP READING: 15 Luckiest Lottery Locations in the Treasure Valley

If you believe where you buy your tickets matters, these are fifteen Idaho Lottery retailers that have cranked at least one, if not multiple, winners of $100,000 or more!

Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart

The Most Expensive Home in Idaho and Its 6 Surrounding States Are Spectacular

As of January 2023, these are the most expensive homes for sale in Idaho and its neighboring states. Their stories are almost more interesting than the price tag!

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These 10 Idaho Counties Have the Most Expensive Home Prices (Sept 2023)

Based on the most up-to-date statistics from, these 10 counties have the highest median home prices. Scroll through to see how much they cost and what the largest and/or most expensive home on the market in that county looks like. (Data is up to date as of September 25, 2023.)

Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart


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