Picayune man wins $1 million Powerball prize

Baton Rouge, La.  – A Picayune, Mississippi man may have thought life couldn't get any better as he left for a one week Caribbean cruise with his wife.  But that was before he discovered he held a winning Powerball ticket worth $1 million. 67-year-old Leon Poche Jr. had bought the December 8th ticket before he left on the cruise.

While on vacation, he checked his ticket and found that it matched all five numbers, except the Powerball. His wife, Kathy Poche, then contacted their daughter back home to verify the winning numbers.

"I thought we won $400," she admitted. Their daughter verified the numbers were correct and told them the actual prize amount was $1 million. That's when Kathy Poche told her daughter she had to get off the phone because she was being charged by the minute.

The couple stashed the winning ticket in a safety box in their cabin until their cruise was over.

Leon Poche Jr. shared that the couple almost didn't go on the cruise because just a week before his wife had become ill; however, she refused to waste her money. "If we had hit the Powerball jackpot, I would've flown home from one of the ports!" he exclaimed.

After taxes, the Poche's walked away with $700,000. Leon Poche says he plans to use the money to do something for his four children. "I have always wanted to help them", Poche said when collecting his prize at Lottery headquarters in Baton Rouge.

Riverside Travel Center in Pearl River will receive a one-time bonus of $10,000 for selling the winning ticket.