BARTOW, W.Va. — Frank and Patricia Proud of Durbin are $1 million richer from a Powerball ticket purchased at Trent's General Store at Bartow in Pocahontas County.
At a press conference at Lottery headquarters in Charleston on Thursday afternoon, the couple expressed appreciation for Francine Lambert, who sold them the winning ticket.
"Francine always sells us our tickets," Frank said. "She always tells me if I win I can buy her a pack of gum."
They usually buy one easy pick but sometimes more. The latest batch included six tickets, but they hadn't checked them before going out to eat on Thursday morning.
They were in the breakfast area of Trent's when Lambert informed them someone had purchased a winning ticket. A group gathered and discussed how exciting it would be if a local person was the winner.
When the couple got home, they discovered they had won.
"We went home, checked the ticket and then checked the Web site to make sure," Frank said.
Then they returned to Trent's.
"I waltzed in and said, 'Francine, pick out your gum,' " said Frank, who handed her $100 and told her to keep the change.
Initially, the couple thought they had won $200,000 but then realized the amount was even higher.
They had purchased six tickets with the PowerPlay multiplier on one, which happened to be the ticket that won the million-dollar cash prize. If a player pays a dollar extra for the multiplier option and matches all five white balls, the prize automatically jumps from $200,000 to $1 million.
Computer records indicate there was another $200,000 Powerball prize won from a ticket bought at a Giant Eagle in Granville. However, the player didn't choose the PowerPlay option. That prize hadn't yet been claimed on Thursday afternoon.
The winning ticket purchased by the Prouds had the numbers 4-36-40-44-52. The Powerball on their ticket was 3. The Powerball number drawn was 33, meaning they missed the $125 million jackpot by a single digit.
However, they said they are happy with $1 million.
To pick up their check, they brought along Wally, a stuffed walrus clad in West Virginia University attire. They said Wally is a Mountaineer and goes on all trips with them. He was purchased on a whim, on sale, before their honeymoon in 2006.
Frank has two grown sons and a grandson. Jeremy Proud of Charleston is a chef. Daniel Proud, who is serving in the U.S. Army, has just returned from Iraq and is now in Hawaii. Daniel's son, Layton, is 5 years old.
Asked how they will spend their money, Patricia, a retired bed-and-breakfast operator, said, "We just got it. We'll have to think about it. We'll put it in the bank. We may get a new car."
They have a 1997 Subaru and may get a brand new one, she said. Frank added he plans to buy several more packs of gum for Francine Lambert.
Frank, a certified public accountant, noted he intends to meet the upcoming deadline for his clients for filing income taxes.
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