MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A couple from Burnsville, Minn. is coming forward as the winners of the $228.9 million Powerball jackpot, the Minnesota Lottery announced late Friday afternoon.
“As I told the kid at the counter, ‘you don’t have to sell any more, I’ve got the winning ticket,’” said Tom Morris, “And I did!”
It all began Monday when Morris and his wife Kathleen met with their financial planner, and realized retirement may not come as soon as they wished.
‘Things didn’t look real promising, so I told Tom the only way we will retire is if we win the lottery, and he said, well you need to buy a ticket,” said Kathleen.
Unbeknownst to her, on Aug. 10, Tom bought five tickets from the Super America in Lakeville on 16161 Cedar Avenue.
“I decided to pull in because they had construction out front and they are always nice to me,” said Tom, who usually buys three tickets every other week, but says this time he had a $5 bill in his pocket.
He bought the five Powerball tickets and drove to Indiana for a business trip as a sales engineer. Meanwhile, Kathleen saw the Powerball drawing back home in Minnesota.
WCCO’s Michele Tafoya Interviews Thomas Morris
“I thought, oh darn, we missed our chance, and I heard some of the numbers, and I thought, oh, we wouldn’t have chosen those numbers anyway,” said Kathleen.
When Tom got home, however, good fortune was only moments away.
“I said Tom, somebody in Dakota County won, too bad we didn’t buy a ticket, he said, well I did buy a ticket. I got the feeling this was good news,” she said.
Tom let the numbers be chosen at random. Turns out the fourth ticket, which Tom doesn’t usually buy, was the lucky win.
“The Power ball was 38, so, there was 38,” said Kathleen. “I was just following … 11, 18, I said, we did it!”
The couple remembers a time when they used to balance the checkbook down to the dollar. Now, after 38 years of marriage, two grown children and a new grandchild as of last week, they celebrate the wealth of family and fortune.
“It would be nice to think, and I do, that good things happen to good people. and I think we have been,” said Kathleen, who adds that she would love to continue her hobbies of golf and interior design.
As for their future, Tom reports that he’ll officially retire on Monday and they only plans they have right now are to focus on family and fun.
The couple has two months to decide whether they want to take the cash option (123.6 million or $83.7 million after tax withholding) or the annuity payment of $228.9 million.
This is Minnesota’s largest Powerball jackpot win since Powerball began in 1992.
The winning numbers were 11-18-36-41-46, with the Powerball of 38. The Super America in Lakeville will receive $50,000.
NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Edgar Linares Reports