Iowa woman who lost home in tornado wins $2 million lottery prize

After enduring the destruction of their home in a tornado years ago, a new chapter begins for Iowa’s latest millionaire. Tammy Gordy, a 56-year-old resident of Ottumwa, claimed her $2 million Powerball prize at the Iowa Lottery headquarters in Clive.

Tammy and her husband had been in the process of building their dream home when it was put on hold for several years. However, with the newfound fortune, they can finally complete their long-awaited residence. Excitedly, Tammy shared her plans with lottery officials, envisioning a home with luxurious features such as a walk-in closet and a Jacuzzi tub.

Reflecting on their experience, Tammy, who works as a dietary aide at a local hospital, expressed that material possessions were never a priority for them. Family always came first. The windfall will now enable them to create more memorable experiences and enjoy life to the fullest.

When asked about her reaction upon discovering her win, Tammy exclaimed, ‘There were all those zeroes!’

As she used the Iowa Lottery’s mobile app on a Sunday morning to check the lottery tickets in her purse, she suddenly discovered something astonishing. Overwhelmed with shock, she sank into her chair, hardly believing what she saw.

“I fell into my chair,” she said. “I couldn’t see! There were all those zeroes! I was like, ‘Maybe I need my glasses.’ So yeah, we screamed.”

With an easy-pick ticket, she managed to match the first five numbers in the Powerball game’s Saturday drawing, initially securing a $1 million prize. However, her decision to include the Power Play option proved to be a game-changer, multiplying her winnings.

Incredibly, her winning ticket stood alone as the sole recipient of a $2 million prize in the entire country that night, as confirmed by lottery officials.

Tammy Gordy was left astonished by her good fortune, struggling to comprehend the reality of her win. The lucky ticket was purchased at a Hy-Vee Fast & Fresh store in Ottumwa. The winning Powerball numbers for that Saturday’s drawing were 2-38-44-50-62, with the Powerball number being 19.

Before claiming their prize, Gordy and her husband excitedly shared the news with their four adult children and extended family. Initially, they faced some difficulty in convincing them that the incredible news was indeed true.

Gordy jokingly remarked, “I am a jokester, but not to that extent.”

More likely to be in a tornado than win the lottery

According to Powerball, the chances of matching all six numbers are listed at 1 in 292,201,338. When contemplating these odds in comparison to the unpredictable forces of nature that our planet and Mother Nature present, it becomes evident that the two are not even remotely in the same ballpark.

According to, the probability of being caught in a fatal tornado is listed as 1 in 5,693,092 per year or 1 in 71,163 during an individual’s lifetime.

As reported by NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center, the United States experiences an average of approximately 1,100 tornadoes each year, which equates to roughly three tornadoes occurring daily.

WATCH: Up-close look at a massive tornado tearing through Nebraska fields

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