The FEMA Team
June 29 ,
Charleston, WV – West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin presented the winners
of a $10 million Powerball ticket with an oversized check made payable
to “The FEMA Team,” today in Charleston. Manchin noted it is the sixth
Powerball jackpot prize won by a ticket purchased in West Virginia.
Opting for the $5.8 million cash option, Debbie Bucher of Winchester,
VA claimed the prize on behalf of 15 FEMA (Federal Emergency Management
Agency) workers in Berryville, VA. Sold by Sheetz on Washington Street
in Charles Town for the drawing held June 29, the winning ticket translates
into a $100,0000 bonus for the lottery retailer, according to Lottery Director
On hand to congratulate the 14 winners able to make the trip, Sheetz Community
Sponsorship Coordinator Angela Ianuzzi said employees at the Charles Town
store voted to give $10,000 to St. Jude's Center for Cancer Research in
Memphis, TN. According to Dan McMahon, Executive VP of Operations for Sheetz,
the remainder of the $100,000 bonus will be spent on lottery-related expenses
and overhead, as well as bonuses for the Charles Town store employees.
Presenting a $10,000 check to Julie Janes, regional representative for
St. Jude's, Sheetz District Manager Ramona Kitt said her company's enthusiasm
is two-fold. “While celebrating with the winners, we are grateful for the
opportunity to be able to share with St. Jude's. We're thrilled for our
customers; and we're thrilled for the children of St. Jude's,” he said.
Speaking for the group, Bucher said 12 of the prizewinners are residents
of Virginia, while three are residents of WV. “We really owe a debt of
gratitude to Paul Whittemore. He's the one who started this five years
ago, the one who actually buys the tickets for all of us.” Bucher said
Whittemore was unable to make the trip to Charleston , that he needed to
stay at work to begin coordinating disaster relief efforts for Hurricane
Contacted at home, Whittemore said buying the tickets has been a pleasure. “Getting
14 other people together to talk about the details of the win, has been
something else, sort of like herding cats and mice at the same time. One
woman in a wheelchair got real emotional saying she would be buying a car
she would never have had.” For his part, Whittemore said he would pay off
a home mortgage, donate to a couple charities and continue a celebration
that was less than restful. “I was on Cape Cod for my 70 th birthday July
4, but because of all this, it wasn't exactly peaceful. Maybe now things
will calm down.” Whittemore said he's been on a roller coaster since June
29. “I bought 15 tickets for the drawing, but quite frankly, I was so excited
over the $10 million, I didn't even check the other tickets.”
Musgrave said each of the 15 winners received $388,048.12 before taxes.
The West Virginia winners received $265,812.96 after the Lottery withheld
25 percent in federal taxes and 6.5 percent in state taxes. Musgrave said
25 percent of the Virginians' checks was withheld for federal taxes, but
they would each wait to pay VA state taxes at the end of the tax year.
The total on each of those checks was $291,036.09.
Musgrave said West Virginia lottery retailers have sold 10 MultiState
jackpot tickets since 1989, including the world record $315 million won
by Jack Whittaker in 2002. In addition to the six Powerball jackpots won
since the game was introduced in 1994, Musgrave said WV lottery retailers
sold four other winning jackpot tickets in the game previously known as
The last person to buy a winning jackpot ticket in West Virginia was Hobert
Parnell of Rocky Gap, Va., who bought his $62.4 million ticket from a Bluefield
retailer in 2003. Powerball is played in 27 states, Washington, D.C., and
the U.S. Virgin Islands.