HomeSportsNascarDenny Hamlin Explains How He Nearly Won the Record-Setting Powerball Jackpot

Denny Hamlin Explains How He Nearly Won the Record-Setting Powerball Jackpot

by Dustin Schutte
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(Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

One number stood in the way of Denny Hamlin and a record-setting Powerball jackpot. The NASCAR driver explained how he came oh-so-close to landing a $2 billion payout in November 2022.

In a recent episode of his podcast, Actions Detrimental with Denny Hamlin, the driver detailed how he came within one number of securing a huge payday. It all started with a stop at a gas station on the weekend when NASCAR was in Arizona.

Hamlin went to get some gas and received a text from his friends, who told him to pick up some tickets.

“I was going to get $300 in tickets. That’s just what I had on me and what I was going to get,” Hamlin said.

Hamlin purchased 150 total tickets from the register — because he didn’t know how to work the kiosk — and later went out to dinner. After his meal, he realized that one of the tickets matched four numbers, as well as the Powerball.

Still, Hamlin received a $50,000 payout because of his lottery purchase. It could’ve been even larger if he opted for the Power Play. He says the clerk didn’t ask him if he wanted the option.

“I guess that, if you hit the Powerball number, which I did, the Powerball that hit that night was 20, which I had, whatever your winnings are, it triples,” he said.

The craziest part of it all? It was Hamlin’s first Powerball purchase.

Denny Hamlin “Felt Bad” Cashing His Ticket

After Hamlin discovered that he had won a large sum of money, he had to make his way to an Arizona lottery office to claim it. And even though he would be going home with $50,000, it wasn’t the most fun experience.

Hamlin said he entered the office “wearing my hat really low because I don’t want to be seen.” He said he experienced some guilt over it.

“I just kind of felt bad that I was cashing out this big ticket when likely, there were these people that were lifers in there that had never hit it,” Hamlin said.