Joe and Rhonda Meath


September 6, 2014

Minnesota

Bethel Couple Wins $11,710,000 Taxes-Paid Jackpot

Bethel couple Joe and Rhonda Meath are Minnesota's latest multi-million dollar lottery winners. Rhonda said she always knew Joe would win. "He's lucky," she said. "I didn't think it would be quite this big," she conceded.

Just before noon on Saturday, Joe, a regular Hot LottoŽ player, purchased a 10-line Hot Lotto ticket at Corner Express, located at 4825 Viking Blvd. N.E. in East Bethel. He put the ticket in the visor of his truck and did not think about it again until he checked the winning numbers on the Lottery's website around 10 p.m. and noticed that the Hot BallŽ was 19, which he recognized as one of the numbers on his ticket. On that same line, he knew that he also had the winning numbers 1-2-3. Thinking he'd won "maybe $1,000" he decided he'd better get the ticket out of his truck. "My daughter was using the truck the next day," he said.

Once he had retrieved the ticket from his truck, he saw that it also matched the final two winning numbers 25 and 30. "I sat there for about an hour [checking and re-checking the ticket]," said Joe. "Then I woke Rhonda up." After Rhonda looked at the ticket, they called three of their four children to share the good news. The fourth had a test scheduled the next morning and they did not want to disturb her sleep.

The couple does not have many plans yet, but Rhonda is planning on getting a new vehicle. Joe says he is happy with his truck that has about 280,000 miles and plans to keep it. They also plan to give a donation to the St. Paul Police K-9 Foundation, for which Rhonda is a volunteer. "They have a class coming up and 100 percent of the donation goes to the dogs," she explained.

Joe (53) has been retired from Xcel Energy for about 3 ˝ years and Rhonda (51) is a server at Lake Elmo Inn. She said that she likes her job and does not have any plans to retire.