Auburn mom wins $90 million Powerball jackpot

Lisa Quam doesn’t play the lottery often.

The Auburn resident said she only buys tickets on special occasions: birthdays, Christmas and other holidays. She had never purchased a Powerball ticket, but decided to buy one on a whim while doing some shopping on Thanksgiving.

She purchased two tickets, one for her husband and one for herself. She stuck the tickets on the fridge and forgot about them until Sunday night, when she decided to check her numbers: 25, 30, 32, 46, 54 and 26.

And to her surprise, she was the winner of the $90 million jackpot.

“I yelled for (my family) to come upstairs,” Lisa Quam said. “They all took turns checking the numbers and re-checking the numbers.”

According to Washington’s Lottery, Lisa Quam had a one in 175 million chance of winning the Powerball. Lisa Quam will be able to cash out her winnings for $56.8 million.

She doesn’t consider herself a particularly lucky person. Before winning the jackpot, she had only ever won concert tickets in a radio station contest.

But, in this case, Lisa Quam said she has no choice but to attribute her winnings to dumb luck.

Her husband, Everett Quam, said he had a strange feeling about that day when the couple pulled into the Haggen parking lot and saw a man walking around in a white bathrobe and flip-flops.

“It’s one of those days when you see something weird and you know something’s going to happen,” Everett Quam said.

That chance decision will change the Quams’ lives, allowing them to pay off their childrens’ student loans, repair their house and buy homes for their children.

“(I’ll) make sure my family is taken care of,” Lisa Quam said. “Family comes first.”

The couple will also retire early, but Lisa Quam said she’s not sure what she’ll do with the free time — she only realized Tuesday that she would have enough money to quit her job. The couple work for the same company, with Lisa Quam coordinating contractors and Everett Quam working as an assembly mechanic. They declined to name the company.

Once the family is taken care of, the couple will donate some of their winnings to charity, Lisa Quam said. Her children were involved with the Boy Scouts of America and the Girl Scouts and she’s considering the organizations as donation recipients.

She’s also picked out a new car: a Subaru Forester. The couple also plans to buy themselves smartphones.

Lisa Quam purchased her winning Powerball ticket at a Haggen store on Tapps Parkway in Auburn. The store will receive a $50,000 selling bonus, according to Washington’s Lottery.

A few Washington residents were lucky playing Powerball in November, with a Bonney Lake resident winning $1 million Nov. 15. Two other Washington residents won $10,000 each on Nov. 29.