Archive for Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Basehor couple hits $200,000 Powerball jackpot

August 22, 2007

Charles and Kelly Mills' $5 investment turned into $200,000 in less than 12 hours last week.

The Basehor couple found out they had won a $200,000 Powerball prize last Thursday morning after matching the first five numbers in the Aug. 15 drawing.

Buying a lottery ticket is a once-in-a-while thing for the pair, Charles said, but getting this particular ticket was quite an ordeal.

"We were going through Tonganoxie and stopped at Casey's to get milk," Kelly said.

They were already on their way to the 15 acres they own just outside of Tonganoxie when they realized they forgot to buy a ticket at the gas station last Wednesday. Making their way through the construction on Highway 16, they decided to go to McLouth, but couldn't find any stores that sold lottery tickets. Just when they were ready to forget about it, Charles decided to go back to Tonganoxie, through the construction on Highway 16 to purchase a Powerball ticket at B & J Country Mart.

"He was gone almost an hour," Kelly said.

The drawing was that night, but Charles said he fell asleep before hearing the numbers. He said he was pretty sure they had won when he heard the numbers announced on the news the next morning, but decided to stop at a gas station to pick up a copy of the winning numbers just to be sure. Kelly said she knew they had won when Charles was heading back to the car.

"I've teased her several times that we've won before," Charles said.

"This time the look on his face was different," Kelly said.

Players must match all five white balls drawn out of a drum of 55 in any order and the red Powerball drawn out of a drum of 42 to win the jackpot. However, there are eight other ways to win a monetary prize, including matching the first five numbers and excluding the Powerball like the Mills did. The computer randomly picked the numbers on the $5 ticket the couple purchased, which gave them five chances to win. While they missed the Powerball on the winning line, Kelly said the funny thing was they actually matched the Powerball on another line.

"It was just so close you could almost taste it," Kelly said about their chances of winning the grand prize jackpot of more than $180 million.

However, the couple, who both work for Charles' parents at Central States Emblems in Basehor, said they are grateful for their prize and plan to spend it on things they really need. Paying off their old house is at the top of the list followed by the purchase of a tractor. The rest will be invested.

"Uncle Sam gets his fair share also," Charles said, laughing.

When asked if they will continue to play Powerball, the pair responded with a resounding, "oh yes."

Kelly said her step-dad often teased her mother for playing the game twice a week, but she has always told him to just keep laughing.

"I just say laugh away," she said. "It can happen."

"You have just as good of a chance as anyone else does," Charles added.

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