One of the biggest undivided lottery jackpots in US history totalling $232 million has been won on a stake of $15 by a battling 23-year-old rancher near the town of Winner, South Dakota.
Neal Wanless told Associated Press this week that he intends to buy himself more room to roam and repay the kindness other townspeople have shown his family. The young bachelor lives with his parents on the family’s 320-acre ranch near Mission, where they raise cattle, sheep and horses. They don’t own a phone,their mobile home was repossessed last year, and records show they have fallen $3 552 behind in their property taxes, so the windfall will be more than welcome.
Wanless bought $15 worth of tickets to the May 27 30-state Powerball drawing at a convenience store in Winner during a trip to buy livestock feed. He will take home a lump sum of $88.5 million after taxes are deducted.
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The Wanless home lies in Todd County, home to the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. It was the nation’s seventh-poorest county in 2007, according to the Census Bureau.
Wanless told lottery officials that he spent the last week working on the ranch and that he intends to continue that lifestyle, albeit on a larger piece of land.
And he intends to show his gratitude to the community: “My family has been helped by the community, and I intend to repay that help many times over,” Wanless said.
The store where Wanless bought the winning ticket will get a $50 000 bonus. Sharon Ulmer, manager of the store, said she is glad the Wanless family won.
“From what I understand they don’t have a lot, so the money definitely went to a good place,” Ulmer said. “I know it went to a good home. They can use it.”