December 01, 2021
Kicking off the new year by winning $1 million isn't a bad way to get 2022 off to a good start.
For one Chester County resident, that possibility may become a reality in the next month.
Brian Mineweaser, 49, is one of five lottery players from across the country who have been selected as finalists to receive a $1 million prize on "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest" on ABC.
Mineweaser won a special Pennsylvania Lottery Online Prize Drawing held in September to earn his chance to win the seven-figure check live on national television. He was selected to be a finalist from a pool of 50 semifinalists in the state, according to the Pennsylvania Lottery.
Mineweaser described the opportunity to possibly be crowned the "Powerball First Millionaire of the Year" for 2022 as "surreal" and "amazing." If he wins, Mineweaser said that the prize will be used towards putting his four children through college.
"I’m extremely nervous to appear on national TV, but I’m excited," Mineweaser said. "I’m sure it is going to be a very exciting night.”
“We hope Pennsylvanians tune in on New Year’s Eve to watch this special Powerball drawing and Brian appear on the broadcast," Pennsylvania Lottery Executive Director Drew Svitko said. "We wish him luck.”
The four other finalists for the grand prize hail from Illinois, Louisiana, and a pair from Iowa. The winner will be unveiled by television personality Jesse James Decker after the ball drops at midnight New Year's Eve in New York City's Times Square.
Even if Mineweaser doesn't come away with the $1 million prize, he's already earned a number of rewards for being a finalist. Mineweaser was awarded a $2,022 prize for winning the Pennsylvania Lottery's online drawing earlier this fall.
Mineweaser, along with the four other finalists, won an at-home New Year's Eve party package that includes a full stock of food, beverages and decorations. Each of the finalists was also given a $10,000 cash prize and an electronics package that includes a 70-inch television, sound system, laptop and camera.
Mineweaser is not the first Pennsylvania Lottery player to earn a shot at winning $1 million after the ball drops on New Year's Eve. Sara Bosh of Beaver County was one of five finalists for the $1 million prize last year.
The 50th annual "Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest" begins at 8 p.m. Dec. 31 on ABC and will include appearances from celebrities like Ciara, Billy Porter and Liza Koshy.