Good News Blog

Sudden Wealth

Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2006

89-year-old woman wins $2 million lottery prize

An 89-year-old woman who continues to work at Springfield Hospital thinks she’ll pay off a car loan now that she’s won a $2.175 million lottery prize.

Helen Jewitt-Emery chose 2 12 26 29 33 and 38 for Saturday’s drawing and discovered on Monday that she’d won.

“I think I am going to wake up sometime soon,” Jewitt-Emery said at lottery headquarters in Berlin when she claimed her prize. “I think I am very fortunate.”

She bought her ticket at Jake’s South Street Market, where she’s been a regular for about eight years, and was treated to a ride to lottery headquarters by store owner Richard Jacobs, who had confirmed she had a winning ticket earlier in the day.

“She couldn’t believe it until she put the ticket through,” he said. “She was awestruck. I thought she was going to faint. It just took her a few minutes to get a hold of reality.”

Jewitt-Emery chose to receive her prize in one lump sum of $1.28 million rather than 25 equal payments over 25 years, said Alan Yandow, Lottery Commission Executive Director Alan Yandow.

Jewitt-Emery said she would pay off some bills, including a big one she recently incurred. “First thing I am going to do is pay off a vehicle I just bought in May. That is going to take a good chunk,” she said. Besides getting rid of the loan on her Ford Explorer, Jewitt-Emery said she might get herself a German shepard and possibly a small farm, the lottery commission said.

Jake’s South Street Market also collects a $21,175 bonus for selling the winning ticket.

Wednesday, Jul. 12, 2006

Father, daughter win top lottery prizes with same numbers

A woman and her father won the three top daily prizes totaling $75,000 in a lottery game – without knowing that either was playing.

Charity Guiddy won two $25,000 prizes on July 4, using a set of family birth dates. That same day, Charity’s father, Paul Guiddy, claimed a third $25,000 prize, using the same set of numbers.

He had asked her some time ago if he could use the numbers, which he saw on an old lottery ticket she had left in his car, the West Virginia Lottery said.

“Since he asked about playing my numbers, I thought he might have been the one, but didn’t know for sure until I was talking with another relative,” Charity Guiddy said Tuesday.

About five years ago, using a different set of numbers, Charity Guiddy won the $25,000 prize as well. Lottery spokeswoman Nancy Bulla said this is the first time the same person has won the game’s top prize three times.

Thursday, Jun. 15, 2006

Lottery winner thought he’d won $12,000, ticket worth $12 million

On Tuesday, Ken Garbe was told he had won $12,000 in the Lotto Super 7. Without his glasses, Garbe couldn’t see the numbers himself, so he believed the lottery retailer at Park Royal Mall who checked his ticket.

It turns out the retailer missed a few digits.

Garbe’s total winnings from the June 2 draw were $12,399,976 — the biggest jackpot so far this year, said Tamara Ibbott, spokeswoman for B.C. Lottery Corp.

Garbe, 52, purchased the lucky ticket at Oakridge Mall. The winning numbers were randomly selected in a quick pick.

Garbe, who works as a foreman for the Vancouver school board, waited a day before claiming the prize he thought was $12,000. Initially, he said, he just planned to pay off some debts.

He visited B.C. Lottery’s Richmond office on Wednesday.

Lynn Preston, a payout officer with B.C. Lottery, said most big winners can be identified as they walk in the door. “Usually, they’re very nervous,” she said.

Garbe was calm and composed.

Garbe’s girlfriend, Lida Konichek, was with him, but she asked for directions to the washroom, leaving Garbe alone.

Garbe put the validation slip showing the prize value on the counter. Seeing the huge number, Preston slapped her hand on the table and shouted, “Wow! Congratulations!”

“He was very surprised by my reaction,” Preston said.

“He said, ‘I think I need to sit down,’ ” she recalled.

Preston said Garbe told her he couldn’t see the numbers, as he didn’t have his glasses. She brought out a magnifying glass so he could see for himself.

Ibbott said Garbe’s first reaction was to call his son. Garbe promised over the phone to buy him the truck he’d always wanted. He told B.C. Lottery staff he also planned to retire from his school board job, buy a new house and do some travelling.

Garbe received his prize Thursday at a press conference in the hangar of London Air Charter at the Vancouver airport’s south terminal.

Garbe, who is recovering from recent knee surgery, got out of his wheelchair and hobbled up the steps for a look inside a private jet he now can afford to hire, before returning to a white limo.

Asked on his way out what he planned to do with his $12 million, Garbe looked at Konichek.

“Put it in the bank,” he said.

She looked back and smiled.

Monday, May. 22, 2006

Lotto winner gives away $6.6 million

FOR a man who won more than $6.6 million on the lottery two months ago, Bob Bradley’s bank balance is looking decidedly modest.

For the 83-year-old great grandfather, as well as giving a huge amount to children’s charities, has blown his fortune helping to make the dreams of his family and friends come true.

The generous war hero has rejected flash cars, expensive holidays and a move to a luxury mansion in favour of splashing out his jackpot on others.

He said: ‘I haven’t kept any money myself. I can just give my family all they ever wanted. That is all I want – I have had my life more or less, so this win is for their benefit.’

Mr Bradley has bought a $130 thousand Mercedes ML car for son Barry, 58 – but is happy to get lifts when he wants to go out.

He is leaving his modest council semi but only to move in with his grandson after buying him a $1 million five-bedroom home.

The pensioner has also invested a big chunk of cash in an expansion of the hair salon which his grandson Chris Bradley, 35, runs with his wife Geraldine, 36.

He has given his 16-year-old great-grandson a $47 thousand motorhome to transport his motocross bikes to races. His 14-year-old great grandaughter wanted only an $15 pet rabbit out of his winnings.

Mr Bradley, who took part in the D-Day landings, said: ‘I want nothing for myself but everything for my family. I want to make sure their dreams come true This win means my family will never have to worry about money – I’ll set them all up with what they want and just enjoy doing that.’

Tuesday, Apr. 25, 2006

Supermarket cashier wins $19 million

Doreen Patterson, a cashier at the Price Chopper supermarket in the Town of Wallkill for the past four years is undecided what she will do with the $19 million she won in the April 12th state Lotto drawing.

She will be taking home $380,000 per year for 25 years, minus income taxes.

Mrs. Patterson Tuesday stood with her husband, David, a City of Middletown employee, and their daughter, Sarah, who is “16 going on 17,” to accept the ceremonial check from Lottery Director Nancy Palumbo.

Mrs. Patterson isn’t exactly sure what they will do with the money or if she will continue to work at the store. “I don’t want to lose sight of who we are,” she said.

She is the first million dollar Lotto winner in Orange County this year and the 24th since the Lottery was begun in 1967.

Wednesday, Apr. 19, 2006

Sheriff’s deputy finds $1 million scratch ticket on Easter

Klickitat County sheriff’s deputy Ed L. Gunnyon found a lot more than the standard Easter egg.

While doing laundry on Sunday, the 38-year-old married father of four came across a $20 Millionaire scratch ticket he had almost forgotten buying and discovered he had won the $1 million top prize, good for $37,500 annually over the next 20 years after deductions for taxes.

“The bunny was good to us this year,” Gunnyon said Tuesday, revealing his good fortune at a news conference in Yakima.

State lottery officials said Gunnyon is the first $1 million winner in the scratch ticket game. Four more are expected.

Gunnyon said he and his wife plan to get a new car and save some of the money as a nest egg for retirement and their children’s college education.

A dream comes true: Grove man wins lottery

Jerry Harry wasn’t much of a gambler before February, but right around his 47th birthday he had a dream he won the lottery.

“I had a dream I hit the lottery, and I’ve played every day since,” he said.

While most customers were focused on the huge Powerball jackpot, Harry bought a Cash 5 ticket April 5 and won $267,938.

“I knew about two minutes after the drawing that I won, but then I wanted to know how many other people I would have to share the pot with,” Harry said.

The Cash 5 kitty is usually shared by several players who match all five numbers, but Harry was the only winner that night.

He said the money won’t change his life much.

As owner of Harry’s Refuse Service on Nesbit Street, Harry said he would continue to own and work at his business where he occasionally has to empty out dumpsters, and said he wouldn’t be going on any vacations or buying fancy cars.

The money is not enough for him to retire now, but he said he will invest it.

He took the ticket to the Erie lottery office to have it confirmed and made a copy to hang on the wall at T-N-T Deli on Third Street, where he bought the ticket.

Harry still stops by the deli every day for lottery tickets, and he said he doesn’t plan to quit trying his luck.

A Rocky Grove High School graduate, Harry lives in Rocky Grove with his wife, Judy, who owns Bahama Breeze Tanning Salon on 13th Street in Franklin.

Harry’s brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Larry and Liz Young, own T-N-T Deli. Besides Harry, there have been several other winning tickets of lower amounts like $500 sold at the store.

The couple has owned the store for five years and said ticket sales are higher than they have ever been because of Harry’s win.

“We’ve had customers come in saying ‘I heard you had some winners here and I want to win too,'” Liz Young said.

Monday, Apr. 10, 2006

Lottery blooper earns granny a small fortune

An Australian grandmother who made a mistake filling out her usual lottery entry on a new form has won more than AUS$2-million as a result.

The 79-year-old bought her usual AUS$2,30 ticket which allowed her four lines of numbers but accidentally duplicated one of the lines – which happened to be the winner, the New South Wales Lotto organisers said.

This gave her a total of AUS$2 333 333, while 17 other winners of the AUS$21-million pool had to settle for AUS$1 166 666.

“I still can’t believe I put in those two rows. Those are the same numbers I’ve been using since Lotto first opened,” the unnamed resident of Sydney’s Dee Why suburb said when told she had won.

“I know the numbers off by heart, I don’t even have to look at them because they are all based on family birthdays.

“They’d just put out those new entry forms, so I had to put my favourite numbers on the new form. I cannot understand why I put in an extra line.

“It must have been my lucky day or there’s someone up there looking after me,” she said, adding that she would use some of the money to take her family on an overseas holiday which they had never been able to afford.

Wednesday, Apr. 5, 2006

1st time lottery, $5 ticket, $100,000 jackpot

Newton resident Richard Garland is $68,000 richer thanks to the North Carolina Education Lottery.

Garland was the state’s first $100,000 prize winner. He was awarded $68,001.60 after taxes.

Garland said he hopes to use his winnings to buy his first house.

“For 33 years we’ve been married; we’ve never owned a home,” said Garland’s wife, Judy Garland. “It would nice to own our own home.”

Garland spent $5 on a scratch-off “Carolina Cash” ticket at the BJY Fast Shop in Conover on Thursday after he got off work.

At first he thought the scratch-off ticket read $10,000, said store owner Yates Deal. Garland asked around the store and someone said it was for $40,000.

When he made the call to Raleigh to report his winnings, he was informed the ticket actually read $100,000.

“I’m glad to see something like this happen in this area,” Deal said. “The only thing you hear about in this area is plants shutting down.

“And it happened to a hardworking, down-to-earth guy.”

Deal said Garland was calm after he found out how much he won. But he did ask a Conover police officer, who was at the store, to walk him out.

“I’ve seen the ticket, and I still can’t believe it,” Judy Garland said. “When I see the money, I hope I don’t hit the floor.”

Garland went to Raleigh on Friday to claim his prize.

A few others won top prizes on Thursday’s historic inaugural day:

• Army Sgt. James Greene, stationed at Fort Bragg, won $10,000 with a ticket bought in Fayetteville.

• Clyde Almond of Stanly County cashed in on a ticket worth $10,000 that he bought at Express Mart in Albemarle.

• Steve Moore of Candler won a $5,000 prize for a “Tic Tac Toe” ticket.

• Jackie Click bought a “Tic Tac Toe” ticket worth $5,000 at Tobacco To Go in Lenoir. Click said she is going to use the money to pay bills, according to an N.C. Education Lottery news release.

The N.C. Education Lottery netted $8 million from $11 million worth of tickets sold by 5,000 retailers on Thursday.

The state plans to join the multi-state Powerball lottery in late May.

Tuesday, Apr. 4, 2006

Rightful lottery winner cashes in

When Bob Sehested went to scan a lottery ticket he bought on Valentine’s Day – his 50th birthday – a liquor store clerk told him he’d won only “a few bucks.”

He had no idea he had rightfully won $530,858.

But after he watched an Internet video of the ticket exchange released by the California Lottery following a bogus claim for the cash, Sehested knew he’d hit gold.

“It’s a dream,” said Sehested, 50, of Camarillo, flanked by his wife and son Thursday during a press conference at the state lottery office in Van Nuys.

“I was looking to see if it was someone that I knew. When I clicked on the video on the Web site, I was surprised to find that it was me.”

California Lottery officials have launched a criminal investigation into a false claim for the 5-of-5 Mega Millions ticket sold Feb. 14 at Crossroads Liquor in Camarillo.

It was Sehested’s 50th birthday. With no plans for a birthday bash, the hardware store owner dropped $50 on lottery tickets hoping to score the $120 million jackpot.

When he returned to Crossroads Liquor the next morning, he said a familiar clerk told him someone had won $500,000 in the store. Scanning his tickets, one popped up that said “Congratulations – see the retailer.”

“I handed my ticket to the clerk,” said Sehested. “He told me I’d won a few bucks. So I just rolled it back into the lottery hoping to hit the big one.

“So I walked out of there with my cigarettes and four or five dollars worth of lottery tickets – I thought it was over.”

It wasn’t. That same day, a man other than the clerk walked into the state lottery office in Van Nuys with the winning $530,858 ticket.

When the man couldn’t explain how he got it, lottery officials refused to pay. Instead, they released a store surveillance video of Sehested making his purchase to local news media.

“We were able to locate him and find the right person,” declared James Dumelle, a lottery agent in charge of the investigation. “It’s his ticket, and he’s the winner.”

Dumelle declined to say whether the now-suspended store clerk knew the person in the false lottery claim. Charges, if filed, could range from potential grand theft to misappropriation of found property.

Two hours after claiming their winnings from the California Lottery, Sehested and his wife, Wendy, who runs the family-owned B&B Hardware in Culver City, said they’re not sure what to do with their new-found bonanza.

Perhaps they’ll spend it on a scuba-diving trip.

“I don’t play the lottery because I expect to win,” said the glassy-eyed winner who said he’s dropped “thousands” playing the state numbers game. “I play for the what-if – the dreams that you have while you wait for the drawing.”

His $500,000 advice:

“If you go to check your (lottery) ticket and it says, ‘See the retailer,’ sign the ticket, put your phone number on the ticket, then hand it to the clerk.

“Don’t trust anyone.”

Thursday, Mar. 23, 2006

Forklift Driver Who Won $1M In Lottery Won’t Quit Job

Kevin Green said he won’t be giving up his job as a forklift driver, despite his $1 million lottery ticket.

He was on the job last week, when he heard about the convenience store that sold the winning North Dakota Powerball ticket. He realized it was the place where he buys his lotto tickets and checked his numbers.

Even though he won the $1 million jackpot before taxes, Green can dream about, “what if?” If his Powerball number had been 37 instead of 34, he would have won $75 million.

His payout was worth $694,600 after taxes.

Green said he bought 25 Powerball tickets just before last Wednesday’s drawing. He usually buys tickets at a Williston, N.D., convenience store. He said he’ll pay some bills and help his daughter with college tuition.

He said he intends to pay off his pickup truck and his daughter’s pickup. And he’s putting aside a good chunk of money for retirement.

Green is 48 years old and said he doesn’t intend to stop working.

Green won North Dakota’s biggest lottery prize so far.

Wednesday, Mar. 22, 2006

Garbage collectors win $113 thousand

A WHOPPING £65,000 will be shared out among bin men and office staff at the Service Team headquarters in Manby after a win on the National Lottery.

Manager of Cleanaway, which runs Service Team, Nick Davis said: “It’s not the sort of money you can go mad with, but it’s nice.”
The win was discovered on Saturday night by a member of the team, which is contracted by East Lindsey District Council to collect rubbish from businesses.

The cash will be split between 20 employees – netting them £3,200 each.

One female member from the admin team, who did not wish to be named, said: “It’s brilliant – I’ll be upgrading my car with the money.”

Another winner, Kevin Blurton from Mablethorpe, said: “I’ll be putting central heating in my house.”

The ticket was bought at Spencers Newsagent in Louth’s Mercer Row, which is proving to be the luckiest shop in the area, following a spate of winning tickets sold over the counter in the last year.

Owner of Spencers, Peter Spencer said: “It’s the lucky shop again! I’m very pleased somebody else from Louth has won.”
He added: “I had a letter from someone in Norfolk recently, with money in it asking me to send them tickets.

“I sent the money back with some of our lottery tickets which had been through our machine and wished them luck.

“Recently we had some Germans in the shop who told us they had seen on German TV Spencers was the luckiest shop in Britain – it’s hilarious.”

The syndicate of 19 men and one woman from the Service Team started entering the draw when the National Lottery began in 1994 and have used the same numbers since the beginning.

Sunday, Mar. 19, 2006

Volunteer finds $30,000 in New Orleans wall

The woman who owned the flood-damaged home knew nothing about the money in the walls.

She was as shocked as the young volunteer who found it while helping tear out moldy Sheetrock.

“I thought it was Monopoly money,” said Trista Wright, 19, who attends Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Ga., and has spent her spring break gutting homes.

She found the first few $100 bills poking out of a pile of Sheetrock that she was raking up.

Then she peeled back more Sheetrock from around an air conditioning vent in the closet wall where she’d been working and found a stack of bills almost six inches high.

By an unofficial count, it was more than $30,000.

She and fellow students notified the organizers of their church mission, who, in turn told the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office about it.

Deputy Gary Adams verified the identity of the woman who owned the home, which she said previously belonged to her father and had been in the family for generations. When the succession papers checked out and a call to a local lawyer who handled the transaction confirmed her story, Adams gave the money over to the homeowner.

“She was speechless,” said Wright, one of 175 Georgia college students who’ve been working as volunteers in the area.

Adams said the money likely dated to the early 1960s. He said it’s not uncommon to find stashes of weapons or medications behind the walls of homes, but this is the first time he’s heard of such a large sum of money being found.

“They were elated, but they didn’t know what to do with it,” Adams said. “It’s good to see someone find something like that and turn it over to proper authorities and the rightful owner.”

The homeowner, a woman in her 50s who grew up in the area and asked to remain anonymous, said she suspects the money belonged to her father, who grew up in the Depression and was wary of keeping his money in a bank.

“I had my suspicions about the money at first, but once I met the family and talked to the woman, I have no doubt she’s telling the truth,” said Aaron Arledge, one of the organizers of the mission. “She said her father grew up during the Depression and must not have told anyone in the family about it before he died.”

The one-story home in the Arabi area was flooded to the gutters, with no contents that could be saved, church officials said.

Warren Jones Jr., pastor at New Salem Baptist Church in the Ninth Ward, which has served as the home base for the church missions, said the woman submitted a request to gut her home earlier last week. He said the group normally doesn’t work in St. Bernard Parish because of the overwhelming need in the immediate area, but he agreed to make an exception for the homeowner after hearing about her needs.

“To see that woman’s face when we told her about the money, that’s the kind of positive story that makes all the hard work worthwhile,” Jones said. “She said it was a miracle. And when you think about it, it was.”

Saturday, Mar. 18, 2006

Man laid off last year wins $50K

After 20 years of regularly playing the Wisconsin Lottery — a few tickets here and a few tickets there — Dan Murray figures he’s finally come out even.

The 41-year-old Sheboygan man recently won $50,000 in a Powerball drawing, a stroke of luck Murray says “couldn’t have happened at a better time.”

Married to Teri and a father of two, Murray was laid off about a year ago from a job at Vinyl Plastics Inc. in Sheboygan, where he was employed for 18 years.

He’s still looking for work, but his luck is looking up.

Murray matched four correct numbers, plus the Powerball, to win $10,000 in the March 8 drawing, a prize boosted to $50,000 because he spent another buck on the lottery’s “power play” option, which multiplied his winnings by five.

Murray bought two tickets for the drawing at his usual place, Ryan’s of Sunnyside, a gas station and convenience store at 4650 S. 12th St.

The day after the drawing, Murray went back to the store to buy tickets for the next Powerball game and check his numbers, and he remembers the clerk, Linda Steen, was “kind of ecstatic,” asking him if he was “the one.”

“The one what?” Murray recalled asking. “(She said) the $50,000 winner!”

Murray’s first ticket was a loser, but the second one revealed the good news — though he had to go to a lottery office in Fond du Lac to claim the big prize.

Muriel Ryan, president and owner of Ryan’s Oil Co., said the last big lottery ticket sold at one of its stores was at least a decade ago, a $100,000 winner in Oostburg. The company will get a $1,000 credit from the lottery for selling the winning ticket.

“They enjoy that,” Ryan said of the store clerks when they sell a big winner. “It’s very encouraging for the clerks, and everybody likes a little notoriety.”

Until hitting the $50,000 jackpot, Murray said the most he’d ever won in a single game in all his years of playing the lottery was $50.

“When I got my check, I told my wife, ‘Here, now I’m even,'” Murray said.

From rags to riches: two janitors win $14 million

It truly is a rags-to-riches story for two lucky Regina janitors.

Co-workers Donna Eason and Dante Potoma matched all six numbers in Wednesday’s Lotto 6-49 draw to win $14.27 million. They have been cleaning halls and suites for a property-management company for several years and decided to play together five years ago. They were using their own numbers for most of the draws, based mostly on birthdates.

It’s the largest-ever lottery win in Regina, and the second-largest 6-49 prize awarded in Saskatchewan.

Just last month a Saskatoon couple won $14.67 million.

Wednesday, Mar. 8, 2006

Lottery winner needed a break

Jason Wheeler did what any Upstate New York resident would do after winning $1 million — he turned up his heat.

But before that, the 27-year-old from Marcy had to convince his friends and family the Red Hot Million New York Lottery scratch-off ticket he bought at Fastrac on North Genesee Street really was a winner.

“Dad, I won a million dollars,” he said to his father, Bill Wheeler, about 8:45 p.m. Feb. 16, an hour after he bought the ticket.

“Swear to God,” his father demanded.

“Swear to God,” Jason Wheeler said.

“Swear on your mother,” his father persisted.

“I swear on my mother,” Jason Wheeler said.

Swearing on her wasn’t enough for mom Cindy Wheeler. She didn’t believe it until her son sent her a picture of the ticket by cell phone.

“I was shocked,” she said. “Here’s one of my kids I don’t have to worry about anymore, and it’s a great feeling.”

After fighting breast cancer for the past two years, Cindy Wheeler said it was just the kind of break the family needed. “When I told my friends at work, they said they were always hearing bad news from me. It was good to hear something positive.”

Ashley Schmidt of Utica sold Jason Wheeler the winning ticket that night. She also was the one who Jason and his father brought the ticket to for confirmation later that night — about 9 p.m.

“I was stunned,” she said. “I didn’t know what to say except I wished it was me.” Before that, the largest amount Schmidt had seen anyone win in the five months she has worked at Fastrac was $500.

Since Jason Wheeler’s lucky day, vice president of Fastrac John Lytwynec said sales at the Genesee Street store have “steadily increased.”

“Whenever you sell a winning ticket — especially with the die-hard ticket buyers — they think the store is lucky. They follow the luck,” he said.

Jason Wheeler’s winning ticket was part of the New York Lottery’s newest scratch-off game. Red Hot Million was barely two days old when Jason Wheeler scratched off matching fours that indicated a jackpot, said Nancy A. Palumbo, director of New York Lottery.

Jason Wheeler will receive the $1 million prize in 20 annual payments of $50,000, minus taxes. But the part-time salesman doesn’t have extravagant plans for the extra cash. He’ll still work, he said. He’ll pay some bills and invest with the help of a financial adviser.

As far as what he sees in his future?

“Things are looking brighter,” he said with a smile.

Saturday, Mar. 4, 2006

Woman Wins Scratch-Off Design Contest, Then Jackpot

Last summer, the Iowa Lottery held a contest to design a scratch-off game ticket.

A Webster City woman who designed the ticket not only won the contest, she hit the jackpot in the very scratch-off card game that bears her design.

Alice Hayes just can’t help it. She has the golden touch.

“It’s got to be luck or something,” Hayes said.

“She’s worth $12,000, so I’m going to hold the door for her,” said husband Gary Hayes.

Hayes heard about the contest last summer and decided to enter.

“So, I ran up to my grandson, got his colored pencils, came down, thought of a headline,” Hayes said.

In less than three late-night hours, she had sketched the concept for the Dream’n of Dollars scratch-off card game.

Within weeks, she found out she won $3,000, and her artwork would be seen in Iowa Lottery machines statewide.

“I made a deal with Hy-Vee to buy the first 100 tickets from our local Hy-Vee store, and I bought them and handed them out to our friends,” Gary Hayes said.

Hayes bought a ticket that revealed an amazing surprise.

“I bought this yesterday at a gas station,” she said. “‘Oh, it’s 12.’ And then I kept scratching and there was more zeroes … $12,000.

Hayes said she bought more of these tickets than other scratch-offs because it’s her design.

She’s dreaming of ways to spend her second prize from a single game.

“Well, I’d like to have a new John Deere tractor,” her husband said.

This win is all Alice’s.

“I’m just lucky, I guess. That’s what everybody’s told me,” she said.

Thursday, Feb. 23, 2006

8 Workers share biggest US lottery prize – 365 million dollars

Eight Nebraska meat-plant workers Wednesday claimed the biggest lottery prize in US history, each netting 15.5 million dollars as their share of a 365 million-dollar jackpot.

The seven men and one woman who pooled their bets included Congolese refugee Alain Maboussou and two Vietnamese immigrants – including the man who bought the ticket with the lucky six numbers.

‘I feel only lucky,’ Dung Tran, who emigrated from Vietnam 16 years ago, told a televised ceremony in the state capital Lincoln where the winners received symbolic checks.

He said he was scared after finding out that the group won and has been unable to sleep.

Peppered with reporters’ questions, the giddy winners joked about the money, how they found out they had won and in response to repeated queries whether they were single.

While they did not reveal what they planned to do with the money, most said they had quit their job.

‘I have been retired for about four days now,’ quipped Eric Zornes, who said he was ‘a little excited’ when he won.

‘That’s about all I can say. What can you do with that kind of money?’ he said.

Winners found out about their luck several days ago, but the announcement was deferred in part to get them all together. Some of them came to the prize ceremony from an overnight shift at their ConAgra meat processing plant, which makes ham and corned beef.

Some winners said they have played the lottery for years, while others had joined only recently.

Quang Dao, a US immigrant and father of five, said he would use some of the money to help his family in Vietnam.

Maboussou, who fled the Republic of the Congo with his family in 1999, said he plans to finish his studies in business administration. He also said the money would make his 3-month-old child happy for the rest of its life.

Maboussou was cautious when he heard he was part of the winning group: A co-worker had played a prank on him a week ago and told him he had won the lottery. Maboussou said he told his wife that it probably was another joke – but this time, it was for real.

Powerball involves choosing five numbers from 55, plus an extra number from 42 numbers. The odds of hitting the jackpot are 146 million to 1, according to Powerball.

The winners chose to take a lump sum of 124.1 million dollars after taxes instead of annual payments that would have amounted to 365 million dollars before taxes.

‘We’ve all been working together for a long time so we all know each other,’ said Chasity Rutjens, the lone female winner. ‘I just want to make sure it lasts me the rest of my life so I don’t have to return to work.’

James Hoppe, the group’s lawyer, quipped that he wanted to be the ninth winner but all he got was an adoption offer from one of the winners.

Michael Terpstra said he never expected to win and played the lottery mostly for fun. It gave the co-workers something to talk about and a chance to fantasize about buying an island or a plane, he said.

The reality is, Terpstra said to great laughter, that he is ‘not a big fan of flying’ and does not ‘really like water.’

Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2006

Lottery win will make life a little easier

t took Jeffrey Jacobs a little while to appreciate the bang he got for a buck.

The 51-year-old West Bend man won $200,000 on a recent Powerball drawing.

A good return on a $1 investment, not that Jacobs realized it at first.

Jacobs bought one quick pick ticket a couple of weeks ago at Pick ‘n Save North.

“I remembered I bought a ticket on (a) Saturday and this was a Wednesday and they knew there was a $200,000 winner but nobody had come through (to claim the prize),” he said.

Jacobs stopped at the store to get a prescription filled and decided to stop by the customer service desk to check his ticket. When he tried to process it, the scanner said it could not process the ticket.

Jacobs gave it to a clerk who received the same response. The clerk grabbed Saturday’s winning numbers.

“He put it right next to my ticket and started circling one, two, three, four, five in a row,” Jacobs said. “”Oh,’ he says, ‘You’re the guy we’ve been waiting for.’”

The news initially had little impact on Jacobs.

“I’m just really sick so it didn’t cue in at all and I said lethargically ‘Oh great. OK, well great, OK.’”

Jacobs said he took his ticket back, shook the clerk’s hand, picked up his prescription and went home and back to bed.

“You know without them really just putting the money on a table you really can’t fathom any of it,” Jacobs said. “It’s a blessing.”

Jacobs has the money sitting in a bank. He said he’ll make some investments and the winnings will help pay college tuition for his daughter.

While winning the money hasn’t sunk in, Jacobs said he has thought about missing out on the grand prize.

“To be honest, my Powerball number was 36 and the winning Powerball was 37 and I was just one number short,” he said.

Jacobs said he would have ‘liked to have won $156 million but I’m very glad somebody up above just decided to let me win.”

Jacobs said he never won anything before and he will probably take some of the money and invest it in a trip and maybe another ticket.

“I still put a dollar in,” he said. “I’m not going to go out now and blow $10,000 on a ticket or anything.”

Jacobs said he rarely gambles and he doesn’t expect the extra income to change who he is.

“Just once in a while I throw a buck in,” he said. “This isn’t enough to retire on, it just makes life a little easier.”

Thursday, Jan. 26, 2006

Woman finds lottery fortune in fortune cookie

Alberta’s newest millionaire credits a Chinese fortune cookie for her good fortune.

Deedra Clay, a 40-year-old grocery clerk and mother of two from Barrhead, won $6 million in last Friday’s Super 7 lottery.

She is one of two lottery players to share the $12 million jackpot. The other winner is from Ontario.

She got her winning numbers – 2, 4, 9, 15, 25, 38 and 45 – from a fortune cookie.

They were one of two lines of numbers she got from a fortune cookie that turned out to be a triple fortune. Not only did the cookie contain two printed fortunes instead of one, one of string of numbers ended up being worth $6 million to her.

She has been playing the same two sets of numbers since her birthday last March.

“My family took me out for a Chinese dinner to celebrate and I got a fortune cookie with two fortunes and two sets of lottery numbers,” she said today at the Western Canada Lottery Corp.’s office in St. Albert. “I’ve been playing both sets of numbers ever since.”

She bought her lucky ticket from Barrhead Fresen IGA. She’s Barrhead’s first Super 7 millionaire.

She plans to use the money to pay bills, buy a new car and add an “industrial style” kitchen to her home.

“I’ve always enjoyed cooking and I’m just one step below being a (certified) Red Seal Chef,” she said.

The Journal’s Ben Gelinas will have the full story on her good fortune in Thursday’s Journal.

Monday, Jan. 23, 2006

Lottery winners spread their good fortune throughout society

Taiwan’s national lottery has been in existence for four years now. Over this time, the lottery has enabled nearly 160 people to become millionaires. Many winners have used their winnings to do good for society. One of the most well known examples is that of the young female teacher who won the grand prize and decided to donate all of her winnings to charity. However, many other people have made large donations as well. One winner donated a large sum of money to the Creation Social Welfare Foundation, an organization in which volunteers provide care to invalids. Other donations have been made to underprivileged families, giving them ample funds to overcome various challenges. One owner of a stand that sells lottery tickets even donated his earnings from selling tickets to a fund to erect a baseball stadium. These are just a few of the stories that Taipei Fubon Bank, the issuer of the lottery, has hailed as “moving.”

Last year, a 30-year-old single female schoolteacher who resides in central Taiwan won the grand prize in the lotto game, yielding her tens of millions of NT dollars. The teacher, however, said that she did not want to keep any of the money and instead donated all of the after tax winnings to various charitable organizations. The teacher has come to be the most charitable winner of the lottery in its history. What was even more amazing was that the woman’s family was totally supportive of her decision to give away her winnings.

The female teacher is an instructor in a school in central Taiwan. Her home is little different from the house of any other public school teacher. She certainly is not wealthy. However, she would spend NT$50 or NT$100 to buy one or two tickets in the lotto game in every round of the lottery. She said that while she hoped to win the lottery, her interest was in obtaining funds that she could use to help others rather than becoming rich herself.

The teacher said that ordinarily she does not have much extra money to contribute to charitable events or organizations, adding that her main goal in buying the lottery tickets was that she wanted to do good for others. In an unbelievable stroke of good fortune, the teacher one day actually won the grand prize. After winning, she did not hesitate for a moment in her decision to donate all of her winnings. Most of the money was donated to various cultural and education groups, with the hope that those groups would provide assistance to youngsters from underprivileged families.

Meanwhile, one man, known as “Yu-sheng”, also won the grand prize in the lottery. Yu-sheng himself is handicapped. In March last year, he read about a student who attends a center for the mentally retarded being violently evicted from the community by residents of the area. As a result, the student was no longer able to enter the community to attend school. Yu-sheng said he could empathize with the plight of the student, as many handicapped people face all sorts of difficulties in returning to society. He said he hoped that he could find some way of helping these people.

One day, Yu-sheng won the a prize of NT$100 million in the lottery. His first action after winning the lottery was to donate NT$10 million to the Syin Lu Welfare Foundation to be used in their “Community Residence and Life Services Project.” Yu-sheng said he hoped that other handicapped people could share in his good fortune. He said he also hoped that his action would help to bring attention to the public at large of the rights of the handicapped to reside within the community and that the public should show more concern for these people.

The single largest donation received by Taipei Fubon Bank since it began issuing the lottery came from a volunteer at the Creation Social Welfare Foundation. The volunteer, Chang Tien-you, has for a long time provided service to invalids who have access to very limited amounts of funds. Perhaps as a reward for his long years of dedicated service, Chang won day unexpectedly won the grand prize in the lottery, winning over NT$100 million. After winning the prize, Chang entrusted NT$24 million to the bank to be donated to various organizations. Of that amount, NT$20 million was donated to the Creation Social Welfare Foundation, making it the single biggest donation to an institution in the history of the lottery. It was also the largest donation received by the foundation in its 19 years in existence.

Yang Jui-tung of Taipei Fubon Bank said that Chang has spent a considerable amount of time taking care of people who are invalids, and so he has a sense of what they are going through. In addition, given the increasing lack of interest among society in making donations to charitable organizations, the number of receipts that the foundation receives as donations has shrunk over the years. As a result, when receiving his lottery winnings, Chang designated that a portion of the funds should be donated to the foundation, hoping that more funding would be available to provide care to invalids.

Thursday, Jan. 12, 2006

Lottery winner donates $200,003 check to college

Benedict College gets a big financial boost, courtesy of a Kentucky lottery winner who knows the South Carolina school quite well.

Charlie Johnson is a highly successful business owner in Louisville, Kentucky. He is president and CEO of Active Transportation, a company that moves new cars and trucks from assembly plants to dealers.

But at Benedict College, they know Johnson as the board of trustees chair, and the donor who paid for scholarships, provided buses for the football team, and threw in the first million dollars to build the school’s new stadium complex.

Now, add one more title to Johnson’s resume. He is a winner in the Kentucky Powerball Lottery.

When Benedict’s president David Swinton first learned Johnson’s plan, he couldn’t believe it, “He said, ‘Guess what? I won the lottery and I want to give it to the college.”

But Johnson puts it simply, “I bought the lottery ticket for Benedict College and the ticket came through for $200,000.”

And Wednesday in Louisville, Johnson turned the prize money over to Benedict president Dr. David Swinton. The check presented to the school was written for $200,003.

During a news conference, Swinton indicated the money would be used to help complete the stadium. It’s still under construction on a site near Two Notch Road in Columbia. The stadium will have a capacity of 10,000 spectators and will be finished in November. The project will soon bear Johnson’s name.

Johnson has a professional football background. He played defensive tackle for the San Francisco 49ers before being traded to the Baltimore Colts. He has a Super Bowl ring. Johnson played for the Colts at the time of Super Bowl V, which ended with a 16-13 win over the Dallas Cowboys.

Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2006

$113 million prize makes bankrupt winner giggle

Call it the miracle on 34th Street. When Hugh Allen Hawkins filed for bankruptcy last summer, he and his wife had $250 in cash left in bank accounts and $87,000 in credit card debt.

“And now today we have a big pile of money,” he said Tuesday after an Iowa Lottery official handed him a check for $113.2 million, the largest prize ever won in the state.

Hawkins, owner of a modest home on 34th Street in Des Moines, is the mystery winner of the Dec. 14 Powerball jackpot. His 19-day silence prompted people to suspiciously ask friends in the Beaverdale neighborhood, where the ticket was purchased, “Is it you?”

“I spent the better part of the week scratching my head and giggling,” said Hawkins, 44, who didn’t even tell his wife at first. “I haven’t slept in 2 1/2 weeks.”

Since the Powerball drawing, Hawkins, who is a real estate developer, has hired a team of legal, financial and public relations experts. Their advice included waiting until after Jan. 1 to claim the lump-sum payment of $54.8 million, thus postponing the $16.4 million tax bill until December 2006.

Hawkins laughingly said he expects people to bombard him with requests for money, but long-lost relatives and friends shouldn’t bother to show up at the door of his $125,000 house.

The one-and-a-half-story Beaverdale brick is empty, still trimmed with Christmas lights and a wreath. Hawkins and his family — wife Cindy Schumacher, their daughter, Katie, 3, and son Alex, 6, and his son from a previous marriage, Colby, 12 — are living elsewhere.

And their old phone number, (515) 633-0929, “is dead forever,” he said.

The couple intend to give gifts to family, buy a puppy, settle debts and help startup companies. “And there’s definitely some luxury vacations in our future,” said Hawkins, whose last vacation was a 15-day tour of Europe with his wife in 2002.

Some of the winnings will go to the Greater Des Moines Foundation and the Omaha Community Foundation, which will use it to aid nonprofit groups, and startup and “in-need” companies.

The couple will share with family — he has one brother; she has seven brothers and seven sisters.

Schumacher said they’ll buy a car for her father, possibly a Cadillac, “although it might be hard to get him to take it.”

Hawkins has a history of financial success and difficulty.

A Valley High School graduate, he studied at Northern Illinois, Northern Iowa and Iowa State universities, but left college before earning a degree to open a commercial drapery business.

Polk County court records filed in 1997, when Hawkins was more than $6,700 behind in child support payments to his ex-wife, Michelle, show he also owed roughly $22,250 to four credit card companies. He caught up with his child support obligations in 2004.

Three years ago, when Hawkins was making his living selling cars for EuropeanMotorcars in Urbandale, his current wife, Cindy, decided to leave her job with a data processing company to stay home with the children. With their income cut in half, the couple burned through their 401(k) accounts and savings to pay living expenses, they said.

Hawkins went to work as a financial adviser for Merrill Lynch in 2004, but, according to court documents, was unemployed when the couple filed for bankruptcy in July 2005.

“It was just the inevitable,” Schumacher said. “We put it off as long as we could.”

Hawkins’ and his wife’s latest debt — about $14,000 to AT&T, $1,500 to Sam’s Club and about $71,000 to six other credit cards — was wiped clean in October.

But they said they’d nonetheless like to arrange for repayment.

Hawkins, who now works for Omaha-based Metro Engineers, where he puts together commercial real estate development deals in the United States and Europe, was away on a business trip when the winning numbers were announced at 10 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14.

About noon Saturday, Dec. 17, his wife sent him for milk and coffee at the Dahl’s grocery store on Beaver Avenue, where a banner announced the unclaimed winning Powerball ticket had been sold there.

“I thought that was odd. Why wouldn’t you come forward?” Hawkins recalled thinking.

Then he remembered the five $1 tickets he’d bought at the spur of the moment while picking up a six-pack of ginger ale for friends.

After the clerk shouted the news, Hawkins slipped out a side door as TV cameras entered the front door. He quietly took the groceries home to his wife and didn’t tell her, saying he didn’t want to burden her as she was leaving for a 90-mile trip to Ackley for her mother’s birthday party.

At 9:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 18, he sat her down in the living room rocking chair and handed her newspaper articles about the riddle of the Powerball winner. It’s me, he told her.

“I kept saying, ‘What? What?’ ” Schumacher said. “I didn’t cry or jump and scream. I kind of went still. It was a shock.”

Hawkins said he’s still trying to deal with “a rainbow of emotions” himself. But he’s certain of one thing: “I will not own an alarm clock from this day forward,” he said.

Monday, Jan. 2, 2006

Lottery winner doesn’t live like a millionaire

When Pat Fossum describes her day, it doesn’t sound like the lifestyle of a millionaire.

“We get up in the morning, feed the animals, go to work, work until 5 or sometimes midnight and then go home to bed,” said Fossum, who won $1 million in a Powerball drawing in October.

The Lennox mother and business owner said the winnings haven’t really changed her and her family, and she doesn’t expect they will.

Fossum became the sixth-largest lottery winner in the state’s history after she bought a ticket at a Sunshine Food store and matched the five white balls but not the red Powerball. She had taken advantage of a new feature known as Power Play. The Power Play featured a multiplier of five, so rather than winning $200,000 she took home $1 million.

Mike Mueller of the South Dakota Lottery office said her good fortune also spurred a trend. Sales of the Power Play feature have increased 44 percent since she won.

Fossum, 53, said she always has watched her money closely and that won’t change even if she could splurge a little now.

“I’ve had to. I never had a whole lot of money. My dad worked hard for everything he had, my mom worked, and I’ve worked since I was 6 years old,” she said.

When her mom worked in a Canton restaurant, young Fossum would tag along and act as a waitress for customers who got a kick out of their young server.

Fossum opened Seam Designs, an embroidery shop, in Lennox in 1996 and said she never has considered giving up her business and taking it easy.

She expects to keep working until she’s of age to draw Social Security.

There are benefits to her windfall, however. She and her husband, Steve, have paid their bills and no longer have a mortgage. She hasn’t accumulated a lot of stuff for herself, her three daughters or her four grandchildren.

Fossum said the other residents of Lennox have been full of congratulations for her and don’t treat her any differently than they did before her win. “They’ve just been thrilled for us,” she said.

Although several months have passed, Fossum said the win still hasn’t sunk in.

“Sometimes I sit and think, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to be a millionaire?’ ”

Then she remembers.

Friday, Dec. 30, 2005

Good Samaritan wins big on scratch-off lottery game

Sometimes, good deeds really are rewarded.
A woman in Saranac Lake, New York, who has a history of doing good deeds won ten-thousand dollars last week on a scratch-off lottery ticket.

Shirley Hosler visits nursing homes at Christmas time to pass out gifts and spread holiday cheer. And she says she’ll keep on doing it, even if she wins a (m) million dollars in the lottery.

Hosler has already donated 15-hundred dollars of her winnings to the local humane society, North Country Life Flight and the local volunteer fire department. She says she doesn’t really need anything and plans to put the rest of the money in the bank.

She credits her faith for her good luck.

Thursday, Dec. 15, 2005

Public Works employees split $4M jackpot

Fifteen Department of Public Works employees received a timely holiday bonus when they became the sole winners of last week’s $4 million Pick 6 Lotto jackpot.

Without giving specific names, Mayor Brian Wahler confirmed Tuesday that 15 of the township’s public works employees won the jackpot in Thursday’s drawing.

“It’s exciting, but I’m just really glad they didn’t find out they had won for another day so they were there to plow the snow the next morning,” Wahler said.

The winning numbers were 4, 8, 23, 26, 37 and 43.

The Gift Horse at 174 Stelton Road sold the winning ticket. The store, according to New Jersey State Lottery executive director Michellene Davis, will receive a $2,000 bonus check for selling the winning ticket. A store employee confirmed it was the first time the store had sold a winning jackpot lottery ticket.

Wahler said that the jackpot winners are still employed by the township’s public works department and that after taxes, the winners will most likely walk away with about $150,000 each.

Acts of kindness

In July, our two exterminating ladies, Loretta and Karen, came inside our house to do some spraying. When they left, Loretta said: “When we win the lottery, we are going to buy those people an air-conditioner.”

That night, they won the Arizona Lottery for $1.1 million.

We were away in August when they came for their regular service. They left us a note that they needed to talk to us. When they came back in September, they called my husband and me into the kitchen and proceeded to tell us what they had said on that lucky July day.

This month, our air-condition/gas heater is being installed at no cost to us.

Loretta and Karen are the greatest ladies around, and we cannot begin to tell them how much we appreciate what they have done for us. “Thank you” cannot even begin to express our gratitude.

Friday, Dec. 2, 2005

Elderly Lottery Winner Donates All Money To Charity

A 71-year-old man in China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region who won a lottery jackpot of 500 thousand dollar has donated all of the money to charity.

Surnamed Wang, the man is a retired worker with the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps in Changji.

“My only wish to make use of the prize for myself is to buy a new radio,” Wang was quoted by the Xinjiang Economic Daily as saying. [The Hidden Power of Kindness: A Practical Handbook for Souls, Who Dare to Transform the World, One Deed at a Time]

On November 21, when Wang arrived at the lottery complex in Urumqi to receive his prize, he donated the first batch of 60 thousand dollar to a charity project aimed at financing schooling of impoverished students.

Wang donated the remaining money to charity affairs through a Catholic organization, sources with the Xinjiang Welfare Lottery Center said.

Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2005

Laughing all the way to the bank

NEWBURY couple Kay and Jan Legg were laughing after scooping £980,499 on the National Lottery because they’d had “a funny feeling” they were going to win.

And it certainly came as no surprise because 56-year-old Kay sensed her luck was in when she bought the winning ticket from St John’s Post Office in Andover Road. [The Luck Factor : Changing Your Luck,changing Your Life – The Four Essential Principles]

She said: “I’m not sure why, but I had a feeling all week that something was going to happen, so it didn’t come as very much of a shock when I discovered that we had actually won.

“We were absolutely delighted of course but quite composed and collected when we realised we’d done what everyone dreams of and won the lottery.”

The Leggs have always played the lottery regularly using the same line of numbers which proved a winner – featuring a selection of family birthdays, ages, and house numbers.

Kay and Jan, 59, who live in the Old Newtown Road area, toasted their amazing win with friends and family at their local pub before treating everyone to a slap-up meal at the Donnington V a l l e y Hotel in Newbury.

But despite their new-found riches, the couple are determined to take it all in their stride.

Architect tec hnician Jan said: “We’re going to buy ourselves a home, because we don’t currently own the house we live in, but other than that we have no plans at present.

“We won’t be giving up work yet as we both enjoy our jobs.” [How to Work Smart! And Enjoy Your Job: 25 Simple Ways to be Recognized, Appreciated, Respected and Valued]

And then he came up with the line to delight promoters Camelot:

“We’ve already bought our tickets for the next draw.”

Friday, Nov. 18, 2005

Lottery jackpot winning couple still clip coupons

Bob and Mary Mikkelson became instant millionaires last year, but they have discovered that money does not solve all problems. For example, with the almost $4 million lottery prize they took home after taxes they each bought a new SUV. But Bob’s new ride, a red 2006 Honda Ridgeline, has a problem, Mary said. “It doesn’t stop at historical markers,” she said.

Laughter followed by a little good-natured verbal jousting followed Mary’s quip. Jokes aside, the two have plenty to smile about these days. And they’ve had heartache, too.

They’re settled into a new four-bedroom house at the base of Ebner Coulee in La Crosse, just down the road from La Crosse Floral.

They took several months to move the contents of their Holmen mobile home into the new house. That might seem strange, but the Mikkelsons had crammed the contents of a two-story home into the mobile home when they moved to Holmen from San Antonio, Texas. They had a lot of stuff, and they weren’t in a big hurry.

The house – their first “new” house – has a great view of Grandad Bluff for New Year’s Eve fireworks, and a front porch where they can sit and watch them. The garage has room for Bob’s Honda, Mary’s white Jeep Liberty and another stall to spare, and the basement has plenty of space for Mary’s craft projects and her “gonna do room.”

They recently bought a pontoon boat, but got it too late in the season to get out and use it.

They also bought a condo for Mary’s aunt, who raised her and was living in a rundown old home on La Crosse’s north side.

And that’s about it for the big expenditures. Sure, they might eat out a bit more than they used to, and they’ve got a pretty nice TV in the basement, and they can afford to hire somebody to do the landscaping, but winning Minnesota’s Hot Lotto jackpot hasn’t changed their lifestyle or outlook much at all.

“I’m still the good old me,” Bob said with a smile, displaying a hat that says “I only golf on days that end in ‘Y’.”

Bob was semi-retired when they won the $10.8 million jackpot after a working life split between the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Postal Service. After the jackpot, he became officially retired. “I haven’t worked a lick since,” he said.

Much of the lump sum payout of almost $6.5 million went to taxes. In fact, about $500,000 more than Bob initially figured went to taxes, so their take ended up being about $3.8 million.

Most of that money is tied up in “very safe” investments, and they don’t really think about their millions. “We still cut out coupons and shop at Wal-Mart,” Mary said.

They might not think about the money consciously, but in a way it’s always there, a cushion from care. They don’t have to worry about money, and that makes life better.

“Life is very good,” Bob said. “It’s there if we need it for emergencies.”

But the past year hasn’t been all wine and roses. Last March, just a few days before their son, Scott, was to be married, they learned their daughter, Dawn, had to undergo surgery for a brain tumor. Less than two weeks later, Dawn was dead at the age of 37.

The sense of loss still lingers for Bob and Mary. “She was my little partner in crime,” Mary said.

Before they won the jackpot, Bob was in the habit of buying about $5 in lottery tickets every week. The day they won it was one of Mary’s rare ticket purchases – 2-3-15-26-36 and a Hot Ball of 18 – that won the big money.

Bob said he still buys Powerball tickets when the jackpot gets really big, but it’s with the same approach he always had, that it’s just entertainment. They already beat 11 million to 1 odds once, and in the back of his mind, he knows he has a much better chance of getting struck by lightning than he does of winning another jackpot. It’s just for fun.

“There’s no theory or skill to it at all,” he said. “It’s all luck.”

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