December 22, 2004
Mesa's newest millionaire Tim Sindel, his wife Donna and his oldest granddaughter
Maigan are getting used to seeing themselves on the news and in the paper
after Tim's $10.3 million Powerball® jackpot win from the December
22, 2004, drawing. Tim and Donna accepted the prize money at a press conference
on Jan 11 with a crowd of Phoenix press, television crews, lottery employees,
and friends as their audience.
The sudden fame and fortune doesn't seem to be fazing the retired police
officer who plans to invest the money, secure college funds for his grandchildren
and continue to live modestly. “The greatest luxury is knowing that my
grandchildren are taken care of,” said Tim, who believes that “there is
a reason we won this, even if we don't know what it is yet.”
The decision to invest the money was made after meeting with financial
advisors and lawyers, who also advised that Tim take the money as a lump
sum, or a gross amount of $5.66 million. After state and federal withholding,
he receives $3.9 million.
“I really had no idea what this kind of money is; it is beyond what a
police officer makes,” Tim told the crowd at the press conference where
he accepted the prize. “What really changed me was when we sat down with
Initially, Tim was not aware that he was such a big winner. When he went
in to cash his ticket at a retailer, he jokingly told the cashier to “give
me my millions.” When the cashier was unable to cash the ticket, Tim went
to the lottery office without checking the winning amount, figuring it
was $1,000 or so. He was in disbelief when the lottery cashier teased him
for not knowing that his ticket was worth $10.3 million. Finally convinced
of his win, the first thing he did was call his wife to tell her not to
work overtime that night.
“At first I thought he was joking, I didn't believe him until I noticed
that his voice was shaking,” said Donna.
As part of the Lottery's retailer incentive program, Safeway Store #1567,
located at University Drive and North Lindsay Road in Mesa, was recognized
for selling the winning ticket. The store received a check of $25,000 at
the press conference and hosted a lottery promotion afterwards. The incentive
program began in August 2004 and awards stores with cash incentives for
sellinga winning Powerball jackpot ticket, a winning Powerball $100,000
ticket, or a winning The Pick™ jackpot ticket.
Lottery Executive Director Katie Pushor said: “It's exciting to have our
Powerball jackpot winner in Arizona. And I know how much our retailers
and our beneficiaries appreciate our Powerball customers.”
The $10.3 million prize money is part of a $30.9 million jackpot that
is being split three-ways with winners from Nebraska and Pennsylvania.
Since Arizona joined the Powerball in April 1994, this is the seventh time
that Arizona has sold a winning Powerball jackpot ticket. Arizona residents
have collected more than $415 million in Powerball jackpots.
Tim admits to having several sleepless nights after his win and describes
his lottery experience as “fun and somewhat stressful.” He told the crowd
at the press conference that “after today, I am going to go home and try
to settle down.”