Zachary woman claims first $1M Powerball prize of 2016 _lowres

Photo provided by Kimberly Chopin -- Pablo's, a New Roads convenience story, sold a Zachary woman a $1 million lottery ticket in the Jan. 6 drawing. Cashiers Samantha Joseph, Joan Samuel and Niesha Johnson, from left, hold up a Lottery banner in front of the store on Jan. 8.

Tonya Vessel visited Louisiana Lottery headquarters Jan. 7 to claim the state’s first $1 million Powerball prize of 2016.

The 42-year-old Zachary resident’s ticket matched all five white-ball numbers but missed the red Powerball number in the Jan. 6 drawing, which featured a jackpot of $550 million, a news release said.

She received $700,000 after federal and state taxes were withheld. The winning ticket was purchased at Pablo’s in New Roads, and the store will receive a one-time selling bonus of $10,000, which is 1 percent of the prize.

“It truly is a great opportunity for us and our customers,” said Emily S. Miller, co-owner of Pablo’s. “Not only does the Lottery bring in revenue for the state and education, but it’s great for us to be able to put money back into our company for updates and new merchandise to keep our facilities up to date for our customers.”

Ticket purchasers must be at least 21 years old, and draw-style game tickets must be claimed within 180 days of the drawing.

More information about other Powerball winners can be found on