Aurora woman randomly selected as finalist in $1 million lottery drawing

An Aurora woman could be $1 million richer this New Year. 

The "Powerball First Millionaire of the year" drawing will randomly select one lucky lottery winner live on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, with Ryan Seacrest 2022, to receive $1 million. 

Linda Perkins, an Illinois Lottery player, was selected as one of five finalists from across 29 U.S. lotteries, according to a news release from Illinois Lottery.

"I learned that I won from an email in the middle of my workday so I was really shocked," said Perkins. "I can’t believe it, I’m still having a hard time believing this – I’m in total shock."


According to the release, in addition to the chance to win $1 million from Powerball, Perkins, along with the other finalists, has already won a $10,000 cash prize and an at-home New Year’s Eve party package, including a 70-inch TV, a karaoke system, a laptop computer, a deluxe dinner for eight, and $500 to spend at Party City.

Perkins is already ecstatic at having won $10,000 and the party package, but if her name was drawn on New Year’s Eve, "I would scream, I would cry, and I would probably pass out!," she laughed.

Perkins and the other finalists will be watching the New Year's Eve broadcast at home, using the party package they won, to see if their name gets called just after the stroke of midnight.


According to the release, country artist Jessie James Decker, as the Powerball correspondent, will be providing live updates throughout the evening and will check in with each of the finalists celebrating at their homes across the country. 

Perkins says this time, she plans to stay awake past midnight. 

"I normally try my best every year to stay awake past midnight, at least until the countdown, but I always seem to fall asleep about five minutes before," she said. "This year, I think I’ll be wide awake!"

The four other finalists are Aaron Rose from Slaughter, Louisiana; Robert Long from Waterloo, Iowa; Brian Mineweaser from Honey Brook, Pennsylvania; and Shari Beenken from Titonka, Iowa.