Custodian cleans up in Idaho lottery

Photo: Jerry Eveland in a hallway at Streit-Perham Hall. (Photo by Robert Hubner, WSU Photo Services).

For many years, Jerry Eveland has used what he calls his “system” for playing the lottery. Once a week, he buys three $1 lottery tickets, selecting numbers randomly generated by the game’s computer, as he commutes between his home in Potlatch, Idaho, and his job as a custodian at Streit-Perham Hall on the Pullman campus. 

On Oct. 15, his system paid off big time.

Eveland won $200,000 from the Idaho Powerball Lottery.

“I was stunned,” he recalled. “I heard it on the radio and remembered that I had two of the numbers, so I stopped and checked my ticket. I couldn’t believe it.”

Despite his good fortune, Eveland expects to keep working at WSU. He has been a custodian at various buildings on the Pullman campus since 2000. Before that, he retired from the University of Idaho after working there as a custodian and in maintenance for 29 years.

“After retiring, I kept working because I wanted to earn more money,” he explained.

With his lottery winnings in hand, he and his wife Claudine are actively searching for new place to live. They want to leave their rented home and buy a house with a few acres around it near Potlatch or elsewhere in rural Latah County.

Prior to this, Eveland said he once won $100.

“This is great,” Eveland said. “My wife and I will finally get to have some things we’ve gone without for a few years.”

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