Rancher Rounds Up Powerball JackpotTuesday June 9th 2009
A 23 year old rancher from South Dakota has won a Powerball jackpot worth $232 million. That makes Neal Wanless the winner of the biggest lottery prize ever paid out to a single player by any lottery in the USA. What’s even more striking is the fact that Neal bought his Powerball lottery tickets in a city called Winner in Tripp County, South Dakota.
Neal was visiting Winner to buy feed for livestock on the family ranch. He lives with his parents and the whole family have been struggling in recent years. Neal’s father had been buying and selling scrap metal for a few years, but the plummeting price of iron made even that modest business very difficult.
Fortunately for the Wanless family, they had the support of a friendly Todd County community to help them through the hard times, and the Powerball jackpot winner isn’t going to forget that. Instead, he as said that he will make sure that the kindness shown to his family by friends and neighbours is repaid.
We like the fact that Neal hasn’t allowed this incredible lottery win to affect his values. When speaking about his win at an official South Dakota lottery press conference, he retained a sense of modesty and genuine gratitude that is sure to have made his community proud. “I want to thank the Lord for giving me this opportunity and blessing me with this great fortune,” Neal said. “I will not squander it.”
Whilst many lottery jackpot winners think about quitting their day jobs when they finally hit the lottery results that they have dreamed of, Neal intends to do the opposite by buying a bigger ranch. This isn’t really much of a surprise, because ranching is much more than a job in South Dakota – it is a way of life.
Now Neal Wanless and his family can enjoy that way of life without worrying about money ever again. The Powerball lottery allows winners to receive the jackpot as a series of annual instalments, or as a smaller cash lump sum. Neal has opted to take a cash lump sum, and therefore receives $88.5 million after taxes.