February 1, 2003
Clint Harris, director of the state lottery, said, "We have validated the ticket, and it is now official. 'The Watertown 34' are South Dakota's first Powerball jackpot winners, and also the winners of the largest jackpot in the history of the South Dakota Lottery."
The group traveled together to Pierre today to present their ticket to the state Lottery to be validated as the winning ticket for Saturday night's Powerball drawing. The group met with Lottery officials over a festive lunch to talk about payment of the prize, and to fill out the forms required to receive their winnings.
Harris said the group decided to take the one-time cash payment of $27,409,943. After taxes, each member of the group will receive $588,507. While presented with a ceremonial check today, actual payment to the winners will happen after the Multi-State Lottery Association, the group that administers the Powerball game, transfers the jackpot payment to South Dakota on February 18.
The group is comprised of 33 employees of Minnesota Rubber in Watertown, and a spouse of one of the employees. They had pooled $68 to enter the Powerball drawing on Saturday, February 1.
The winning ticket was purchased Friday, January 31 as a "quick pick" at the Cowboy Country Store at 504 9th Avenue SE in Watertown. The store will receive a $30,000 bonus from the Lottery for selling the winning ticket.
The Saturday drawing was the first time a jackpot-winning Powerball ticket had been sold in South Dakota since the Lottery joined the game in April, 1992. Harris said even though the Powerball jackpot was split with another winner in Indiana, it was still the biggest lottery jackpot won in South Dakota.
"This has been a great experience for us at the Lottery. We've had a lot of fun seeing how much fun they've been having. We hope to do this again, but without another 10 year wait," Harris said.
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