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Illinois Couple Say They Hold Record Ticket

<i> From Reuters</i>

A retired couple from suburban Chicago said Thursday they are the owners of the winning ticket in the world-record $196-million Powerball lottery.

A photocopy of the ticket shows that the buyer opted for an immediate lump-sum payment instead of the 25 annual payments totaling $196 million.

The lump sum, a record for a U.S. lottery, is a staggering $104,269,458.33.

“I didn’t believe it,” Frank Capaci told Chicago cable news TV station CLTV in front of Bill’s on Bartlett, a bar where he and his wife, Shirley, were celebrating.

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“Neither did I. No way,” said his wife. She said they planned to spend some of the money on their sons and their families.

Officials of the Iowa-based Multi-State Lottery System said they had yet to confirm that the Capacis were the winners.

The station said the owners of the bar in Streamwood, Ill., where the Capacis live, went to Pell Lake on Wednesday to purchase tickets for patrons who had given them money. The lottery is held in 20 states and the District of Columbia, but not in Illinois.

The station said the bar owners returned to Illinois with the tickets, put them in envelopes and handed them back at random to the patrons who had given them money.

After the drawing, the Capacis checked their ticket and found it had beaten the odds of 80 million to 1 against winning.

In Pell Lake, the owner of the Lakeside Country Store that sold the winning ticket said she remembered a couple from Illinois, apparently the bar owners, buying $400 worth of tickets, the day’s biggest single purchase.

The store did a brisk business in instant cameras for locals who wanted to record the media hubbub, a first for this vacation hamlet.


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