Lottery Winners Make Plans to Retire on $101.8-Million Jackpot

Associated Press

The $101.8-million Powerball lottery jackpot was the answer to a prayer for Shirley Pence.

"I looked in the paper and did the Lotto numbers first. There was nothing," she told reporters Monday. "Then I read the prayer and looked at Powerball. I was going along and 'Whoa.' "

The prayer published above the lottery numbers Sunday in the Arizona Republic read: "Lord, you remind us that an unexpected task may hold a hidden blessing. Amen."

Pence, 55, an insurance company secretary, and her husband, Don, 56, a self-employed house painter, said they will retire. "I guess it means a dream come true. We've both worked hard all our lives and now we don't have to. I guess that means the most to us," she said.

The couple haven't made more detailed plans for their loot--$3,384,195.05 a year after taxes for 20 years, lottery officials said.

The Pences have a daughter, Karrie Smego, 36, and two grandchildren. "I want a truck," 15-year-old Chris Smego said.

The Pences bought the only ticket matching the winning numbers picked Saturday. It was the second-largest jackpot for a single ticket in Powerball and the nation's fifth-largest lottery payout overall.

Meanwhile, the Coeur d'Alene tribe of Idaho announced plans Monday for a national lottery even bigger than Powerball, which is played in 16 states and Washington, D.C.

It hopes to begin operations in the fall using credit cards and toll-free calls from the nation's capital and all 36 states where lotteries are now played.

Organizers hope for an initial jackpot of $50 million for matching six of 49 numbers, with the prize paid in a lump sum.

There is a chance that some states that run their own lotteries could challenge the tribal plan in court.

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