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Lottery millionaire says he'll help charities, friends

A local man won $5 million in the Ohio Lottery Tuesday, but even though he's dependent on kidney dialysis, he says he plans on helping friends and charities with financial gifts.
Image:Phillip Withem
Phillip Withem of Logan, Ohio poses on Tuesday with a ceremonial check after winning a $5 million lottery prize from an instant ticket he purchased for $20 at a Speedway gas station in 2006 in Logan, Ohio. Daily News via AP

A local man won $5 million in the Ohio Lottery Tuesday, but even though he's dependent on kidney dialysis, he says he plans on helping friends and charities with financial gifts.

Phillip Withem, of Logan, won the second chance drawing called the Top Prized Drawing.

In 2006, Withem turned a $20 instant lottery ticket into $2,500. Then, he won another drawing out of 86 entrants. He said the fact that he is now a millionaire hasn't sunk in yet.

"It's not going to sink in for maybe the rest of my life," he said.

Withem's life is sustained by kidney dialysis three times a week and said his sense of humor gets him by for now.

He said his plans include helping some children's charities and friends who helped him during his illness.

"I'm going to help people because I love it. It makes me feel good and I think that's what God put us here for," he said.

Before his illness forced him to quit, he worked part-time cleaning and maintaining the Hocking County Courthouse.

"The people at the courthouse were very nice and I appreciated that," Withem said.

"Phil is a good person and I think he deserves it. He needed a break," said Nancy Powers, a former coworker.

After many years of cleaning the courthouse, Powers is getting a break, too. She will retire on Friday.

Withem said that $5 million will go a long way toward making his life more comfortable.

"No more disability, but I don't think I need it," he said.