Ex-railroad worker claims $337M Powerball jackpot

Lottery mascots play in a ball pit set up in Grand Central Station in New York on February 1, 2010. TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

(AP) LANSING, Mich. - Donald Lawson says the first thing he bought after winning the third-largest Powerball jackpot ever was a pack of bubble gum.

The 44-year-old Lapeer resident claimed the $337 million prize Friday during a news conference in Lansing. Lawson elected to take prize in a lump-sum payment of $224.6 million.

Watch: How the Powerball lottery works
$337M jackpot winner contacts Mich. lottery

Lawson says he confirmed the winning numbers by reading backwards and says he lost his breath. He says he quit his railroad job a short time later.

Lawson says he plans to "escape for now" and that he doesn't know yet what he'll do with the money.

The winning ticket for the Aug. 15 drawing was sold at a Sunoco gas station in Lapeer, about 45 miles north of Detroit.

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