News Around the Nation – April Newsletter




Powerball Winner Claims $559 Million Prize & Announces $250,000 in Charitable Donations


The winner of a $559.7 million New Hampshire Powerball jackpot claimed her prize and donated a combined $250,000 to Girls Inc. of New Hampshire and three chapters of End 68 Hours of Hunger. The winner claimed the $559.7 million prize—the sixth-largest Powerball jackpot in history—through the Good Karma Family, 2018 Nominee Trust facilitated by the law firm of Shaheen & Gordon, P.A with William Shaheen serving as trustee.

The winner had two options, taking a lump-sum cash payment of approximately $352 million or an annuity payment over 30 years. The winner opted for the one-time cash payment, which netted her $264 million after federal taxes were withheld.
The winning Powerball ticket was sold at Reed’s Ferry Market in Merrimack, New Hampshire for the January 6 drawing.

“The New Hampshire Lottery is excited to award yet another Powerball jackpot to our very fortunate Granite State residents,” said Charlie McIntyre, executive director of the New Hampshire Lottery. “We know the winner’s heart is in the right place. These substantial donations are an indication of her generosity and they will make a significant difference in the lives of many throughout our community.”

With representatives from each nonprofit on hand at the press conference, the Good Karma Family 2018 Nominee Trust presented the following donations:

  • $150,000 – Girls Inc. of New Hampshire
  • $33,000 – End 68 Hours of Hunger – Nashua
  • $33,000 – End 68 Hours of Hunger – Dover
  • $33,000 – End 68 Hours of Hunger – Derry


NH Winner Photo.png



Lotto America Jackpot Winner


A brother and sister from Badger, Minnesota have a long-standing agreement that if “one wins, we both win”—and a Lotto America jackpot worth $22.8 million was no exception.

Debbie Kujava purchased the $22.8 million winning ticket for the March 14 drawing at Holiday Station stores in Roseau, Minnesota on her way home from work on March 12.

The morning after the draw, Debbie checked her ticket and noticed the numbers were a perfect match. She initially thought their ticket was worth $2 million so she went over to her brother Dennis’s house and said, “We’re millionaires!”

Dennis was a little skeptical of the news at first. “Well she does play tricks on me,” he said. “But I normally wouldn’t be at his house at 8 a.m.” replied Debbie. It wasn’t until Denise, Dennis’s daughter, looked online that they discovered their ticket was actually worth $22.8 million.

The brother-sister duo and Dennis’s two adult daughters, Denise Kujava and Deanna Kujava, are all sharing a portion of the $13.5 million cash option ($9.4 million after required tax withholdings).

While the family has had fun dreaming about the possibilities of what their new-found wealth could bring, they remain undecided on their plans-—except for one thing: Debbie was excited to retire from her job as an LPN!

 MN Lotto America Winners.png



Lincoln County Resident Cashes In Lost $1 Million Ticket


A Lincoln County resident had his faith in humanity restored this week when he unknowingly lost his Mega Millions ticket worth one million dollars.  The workers and owner at a gas station in Salina hunted the man down and returned his ticket to him hours later!

The winner was in a hurry to get back home to watch March Madness basketball and stopped to get gas in Salina. “My brother went in to check my tickets. He apparently dropped the unsigned Mega Millions ticket, and then we left to go back home.”

The clerks at the Pit Stop Gas Station noticed the lost ticket and decided to scan it to see if they should try to contact the man who dropped it. When they saw that the ticket matched all five numbers but not the Megaball, they knew what the ticket was worth and immediately called the store owner. The owner’s son came to the store to help get the winning ticket back to the rightful owner.

“We had already been home for about an hour, and then went out and ran another errand. As we passed the store, the owner’s son pulled out behind us and flagged us down. He explained what happened and handed me the ticket, and I just couldn’t believe it!” said the winner.

The now-signed ticket was brought into the Topeka office the winner is now $1 million richer thanks to the good deeds of a Kansas Lottery retailer!



News Around Idaho – April Newsletter


Idaho has had plenty of winners this month, from our border with Utah all the way to our border with Canada.  And be sure to check out the gallery of Cash Blast Winners, too!  Here are some of the more memorable winners over the last few weeks:



Kathleen Uglade won the final top prize on the Scratch Game Big Bad Bingo!  Her $50,000 winning ticket matches her winning smile.  She bought her lucky ticket from the Oasis at the corner of Washington and Addison in Twin Falls!




Give a big shout and hooray for Robert Robertson of Bonners Ferry.  Robertson won the last top prize of $10,000 on the holiday-themed Scratch Game Polar Bear Bucks.  The lucky winning ticket was purchased from the South Hill Mini Mart in Post Falls.

Winning regally on the Scratch Game Regal Riches is Ginder Pal from Coeur d’Alene.  Pal won $5,000 on a ticket she purchased at Best Food Stop in east Coeur d’Alene.



Congratulations to Maria Irene Palacios of Idaho Falls for winning the top prize of $30,000 on the Scratch Game Slingo Jewels!  Maria bought her big winning ticket at the Albertsons on Broadway just west of I-15 in Idaho Falls.




Winning $5,000 is something you could sink your teeth into.  Especially when the winning ticket is bought from the Chat ‘n Chew in Malad!  Congratulations to Carol Jennings from Kaysville, Utah for her big on the Jewels Super Ticket!



Cashing in on $5,000 was Husein Sakanovic of Meridian.  He won his big prize playing $250,000 Casino Nights on a ticket he purchased from the DreamTouch vending machine at Fred Meyer on Fairview in Meridian!  Congratulation Husein.



Eastern Idaho is the hot place to be if you were a big Lottery winner in late January and February.   Of the seventeen winners who claimed a prize of more than $5,000 during this time, five of them were from eastern Idaho.

Frank LavattaThere’s a related story about Frank Lavatta of Blackfoot who won $30,000 on Mega Millions.  In addition to him, the final Harley Davidson motorcycle winner was sold at the Maverik on Bridge Street in Blackfoot.

But the winning wasn’t confined just to Blackfoot, either.  A Big Money Jackpot winner worth $207,815 was sold at the Midget Market in Idaho Falls.  One of the $100,000 top prizes from the game Fame & Fortune was sold from the Albertsons on W. Broadway in Idaho Falls.

And rounding out eastern Idaho’s luck this past month was a $5,000 winner on the game $300,000 Exclusive sold to and claimed by Leo Hoffman of Chubbuck. His winning ticket came from the Maverik located I-15 and the Center Street Exit in Pocatello.

Congratulations eastern Idaho on all of your really big wins!


Jumping for Joy

There are 400 miles between the northern Idaho community of Rathdrum and Boise, 450 if you take divided highway the entire journey.   Evidently winning a $50,000 lottery prize is enough to keep you up at night long enough to make the 400+ mile trek by car instead of just taking the red-eye flight from Spokane the next morning. 

IMG_2328.JPGMeet Michaella Wesselman who departed Rathdrum at 1:00 a.m. Pacific Time and arrived at Lottery offices shortly after 10:00 a.m. Mountain Time the next day, fully alert, chipper, upbeat, and enthusiastic over winning $50,000 on the game Corner Club Cashword. 

“I was jumping for joy when I realized I’d won $50,000!” said Michaella, who claimed her prize alongside her mother who made the trek with her.  “I can’t believe it.  It’s real.  That was the best $5 I ever spent.”

 Michaella bought her winning Corner Club Cashword ticket from the Korner Jifi Stop in Rathdrum yesterday afternoon.  For selling the winning ticket, Korner Jifi Stop receives a bonus of $5,000.

Not one for much sight-seeing, Michaella and her mother were departing Lottery offices immediately to make the return drive to northern Idaho.  Michaella’s jumping for joy may turn into the fastest 24-hour whirlwind from winning to Boise and back again.



Oops! Couple realizes $1,000 prize is actually $1 million

Cindy Ooley and her husband, Steve, took a trip to Hoosier Lottery headquarters for what they thought was a $1,000 winning ticket. Instead, they went home with a $1,000,000.

Hoosier Lottery officials began interviewing Cindy about her win, which is standard procedure for a prize of that amount. Then Steve looked down at the table, where there was a ceremonial big check. Cindy was mid-conversation when Steve realized what the check said. He interrupted.
“That’s not $1,000,” Steve said.

The check in front of Steve and Cindy had six zeroes, not three. Hoosier Lottery officials explained to Cindy and Steve that they won $1 million.

“This is nuts. ThisIN Winner-Cindy-Ooley.jpg is crazy,” Steve said.

A look of shock entered the couple’s eyes, then realization. Cindy and Steve immediately called the bank. This wasn’t the small transaction the couple originally expected.

“We’re not going to have to watch things quite as closely,” Cindy said.

Before the excitement of a $1 million prize, Cindy was at home clearing out a desk drawer when she found old Powerball tickets. She checked to see if she had any winners. When she reviewed the Powerball ticket from the Sept. 23, 2017 drawing, she told Steve she had a $1,000 winner and they should drive to Indianapolis to claim it. Neither realized the true prize amount until they saw the ceremonial check.

With little time to react to the news, Cindy and Steve were unsure what their plans would be for the $1 million prize.


Group of 10 coworkers claim $200,000 Powerball prize

A tradition of playing Powerball together led a group of ten co-workers to a $200,000 lottery win.

“We’ve been playing the Powerball every week for the last three years,” Ronald Lute of Lincolnton said. “We each pitch in $10 and get our tickets.”
NC 10 winners.jpgSo on Saturday, Jan. 20, Lute stopped by Bob’s Superette in Lincolnton and got tickets for the Ethan Allen employees.

Dale Hedrick ofNewton was the first one to r

ealize they had a winning ticket. “I checked my phone Sunday morning,” Hedrick said. “I just kept looking at the numbers. I looked at them so many times, I memorized them.”

He immediately called Lute to tell him, but he didn’t answer. So Hedrick called Anthony Rowe of Conover instead.
“I couldn’t believe we actually won something after playing all these years,” Rowe said.

Eric Dellinger of Lincoln was the last to find out. He didn’t learn about the win until three days later.

“I was on vacation,” Dellinger explained. “I didn’t answer my phone because I thought it was work. I couldn’t believe it when I finally found out. It’s exciting.”

Dennis Setzer Jr. of Sherrills Ford, Roger Smith from Lincoln, Matthew Hedrick from Catawba, Randy Jones from Lincolnton, Randy Heavner from Lincolnton, and Johnny Moss from Newton are the other co-workers to win. They claimed their prize Friday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh. After required state and federal tax withholdings, they each took home $14,100. They all say they plan to save the money or use it to pay bills.

The winning ticket matched the numbers on the four white balls and the Powerball to win $50,000. Because the ticket had the $1 Power Play feature, the prize quadrupled to $200,000 when the 4X multiplier was drawn. Just because they won, the group doesn’t

plan to stop playing.

“We already have our tickets for Saturday’s drawing,” Lute said. “We’re going to play until we match one more number.”


Kansas man becomes a millionaire overnight!

Kansas’ newest millionaire is Richard Van Tuyl, Jr. of Leavenworth who recently claimed a Powerball ticket worth $1,000,000!

Van Tuyl’s $2 Quick Pick ticket matched the first five numbers, but not the Powerball, in the Wednesday, January 24 drawing.

KS Richard Van Tuyl, Jr..jpg“I thank the Good Lord for what I won,” said the 59-year-old winner with a laugh.

Van Tuyl described himself as an occasional player. He said he may get a ticket for every Powerball drawing for a few weeks, and then not play at all for two or three months.

“I do get almost daily inspiration, though,” disclosed the big winner. “Every day when I drive from Leavenworth to my work in Kansas City, I drive right by the big Kansas Lottery jackpot billboard!”

Van Tuyl was inspired enough to stop at a convenience store that Wednesday night to get a Powerball ticket after going out for dinner.

“I put the ticket in my sun visor, parked the truck in the garage, and slept great that night. Didn’t give it another thought,” he said.

“The next day I pulled up the Powerball numbers from the night before on my phone, and there I am, holding my phone in one hand and my ticket in the other. My eyes were saying ‘yes,’ but my brain was saying ‘no.'”

After returning to the store where he bought the ticket and having the clerk print out the winning numbers and then consulting his sister, he was finally convinced he really had won a $1,000,000 prize.

“I signed the back of the ticket right away, put it in an envelope, and put it back in the sun visor of my truck,” said Van Tuyl. “When I got home, however, I did bring it in the house. I was afraid my truck might catch on fire or something.”

Van Tuyl works for a construction company in the Kansas City area and is also involved in his family’s farming operation near Leavenworth. He and his wife Tammy have two grown children and four grandchildren.

“I’m going to pay bills, pay off my house and put the rest in the bank for now,” the lucky winner said.


News Around Idaho

Treasure Valley Kristen Woodward.jpg

Lucky Bug Cashword: Kristen Woodward of Nampa sure is one lucky bug!  She won $30,000 on Lucky Bug Cashword from a ticket she purchased at Gem Stop on Caldwell Boulevard in Nampa!




SILVER & GOLD CASHWORD: Oh my heck, that’s a lot of money!” said Abraham Streeter upon learning he had just won the last top prize of $100,000 on the game Silver and Gold Cashword!  His winning ticket was purchased at the Stinker Stores on Five Mile Road in Boise.



POWERBALL Jordan.jpgSCORE!  Laura Jordan won $50,000 on Powerball by matching four of the first five numbers and the Powerball! Her winning ticket was purchased at the Shell in Fruitland!




WEEKLY GRAND JACKPOT: The 35th jackpot winning ticket on Weekly Grand was sold on February 21, 2018 from the Maverik Store located at Ustick and Ten Mile in Meridian!

Magic Valley

$300,000 EXCLUSIVE: The final top prize on the game $300,000 Exclusive was won on a ticket purchased from the Albertsons on Addison in Twin Falls!  This officially ends the $300,000 Exclusive game.

LUCKY FOR LIFE: One lucky Rupert resident, James Vibbert won $5,000 on Lucky for Life from a ticket purchased at the Stinker Store in Rupert!

Northern Idaho

REGAL RICHES: It was a good day in Grangeville for resident Christie Christensen who won $5,000 on the Scratch Game Regal Riches from a ticket she purchased at Depot II on Main Street.