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Lottery winners say most fun was giving money away

After the Big WinAfter the Big Win: Lottery winners say most fun was giving money away

CALEDONIA, Wisc. — Nancy and Al Mohrbacher lived simple lives in Wisconsin before they won the lottery. And things haven't changed, they said.

Despite the $2.8 million they won earlier this year, they spent the same amount on Christmas presents. They're doing the same things this holiday season that they always do.

The family will come over Christmas morning, and they'll share monkey bread before opening presents and having lunch together.

"Our lives are pretty much the same," said Nancy, 67. "But it's fun having new things around."

The couple has been married for 21 years, since two months after they met through The Journal Times' Heartline feature. Their families thought they were a little crazy, jumping into a marriage so soon. But they figured they were adults, their children were grown, and they were happy together.

And the money hasn't changed that, they said.

"We're as happy as we were before," said Al, 66.

Overall, much is the same, they said.

"We're pretty simple people," Nancy said.

They take comfort in the financial security that came with the lottery win, but don't often think about the money in the bank.

"You still hear yourself say 'I'm not paying $15 for that!'" Nancy said.

"We still say 'What, you think I'm made of money?'" Al said.

"$2 million isn't that much these days," Nancy said.

While they enjoyed spending some money on themselves — like the new house, new car, and some new things for inside the house — they feel the best about the money they gave away.

"Giving it away was a lot of fun," Nancy said.

They helped family, and gave a large chunk to their church.

A handful of strangers wrote letters after the win, Nancy said, asking for money for various reasons.

"The lottery people told us that would happen, and that we had to choose where we were going to help," Nancy said.

They chose to help people they knew rather than strangers.

Some of the things the Mohrbachers were sure they would do with the money, they haven't been able to do.

About one month after they moved into the new house, Al started having health problems. He's been hospitalized several times, for problems with his legs and heart.

They don't know whether Al will be well enough to use the new fishing boat they hoped to get, so for now, that purchase is on hold. They had to cancel a trip to Branson, Mo., because of his health, and their dreamed-of cross-country train trip is still a dream.

"I've seen New York, and I'd go back in a heartbeat," Nancy said. "San Francisco is next on the list. Hawaii, that would be real nice. Maybe next year. Maybe next year it will be hard for anyone to get ahold of us."

Their Christmas wishes are few.

"His health would be the main thing," Nancy said.

"And just being together," added Al.

Anything else is a bonus.

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

Journal Times

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11 comments. Last comment 4 years ago by JAP69.
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Bagent's avatar - avatar 10424.gif
Vancouver, WA
United States
Member #53665
July 15, 2007
144 Posts
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Posted: December 20, 2010, 9:42 am - IP Logged

What an uplifting story.  My Christmas wish is for Al's heath to improve so they can make that trip to Branson and to Hawaii.

    whitmansm2's avatar - Lottery-029.jpg
    Right here...can't you see me?
    United States
    Member #21521
    September 10, 2005
    131 Posts
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    Posted: December 20, 2010, 10:05 am - IP Logged

    What an uplifting story.  My Christmas wish is for Al's heath to improve so they can make that trip to Branson and to Hawaii.

    Totally agree!

    Noel

    No No

    Don't cry over spilled milk.  Go milk another cow!!

    Stephanie

      dpoly1's avatar - driver
      PA
      United States
      Member #66141
      October 16, 2008
      1452 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: December 20, 2010, 10:36 am - IP Logged

      A great story .............. better than the Government handing it out ............. people are helped directly and the person giving reaps the greatest reward, the pleasure of helping another person !!!!!

      Noel

      Looking for my opportunity to help others after Tuesday's Mega Millions Drawing !!!!!!!!!!

      Cool

        fwlawrence's avatar - Yavill
        Austin
        United States
        Member #9378
        December 6, 2004
        196 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: December 20, 2010, 10:50 am - IP Logged

        Monkey bread? I sure hope they bake it correctly where you can actually taste the monkey.

          Abdi's avatar - Lottery-008.jpg
          Nairobi
          Kenya
          Member #64806
          September 8, 2008
          138 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: December 20, 2010, 1:24 pm - IP Logged

          congrates to them,surely they is no better way to spend money won through the lottery,

          I Agree!

          There are no born heroes or winners........it takes a hammer a chisel,a vision and a will to suffer the blows and be carved into one!..........

            Lucki723's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
            Florida
            United States
            Member #62713
            July 6, 2008
            3529 Posts
            Online
            Posted: December 20, 2010, 2:48 pm - IP Logged

            congrates to them,surely they is no better way to spend money won through the lottery,

            I Agree!

            Believe !!

              sully16's avatar - sharan
              Listens to the wind
              Michigan
              United States
              Member #81740
              October 28, 2009
              20060 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: December 20, 2010, 8:09 pm - IP Logged

              What really nice people, I hope Al gets better.Blue Angel

              There's only one US Flag

                dopey7719's avatar - Lottery-049.jpg
                Midlands, SC
                United States
                Member #69698
                January 14, 2009
                302 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: December 20, 2010, 8:33 pm - IP Logged

                What the heck is monkey bread?

                  Avatar

                  United States
                  Member #972
                  December 30, 2002
                  461 Posts
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                  Posted: December 21, 2010, 11:52 pm - IP Logged

                  Very nice, but its too bad she had to say "$2 million isn't much these days." $2 million in one place after taxes is a lot of money. Maybe if you inherited it or won the lottery it doesn't seem like much.

                    HaveABall's avatar - rocket

                    United States
                    Member #72448
                    March 18, 2009
                    987 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: December 24, 2010, 4:29 pm - IP Logged

                    Very nice, but its too bad she had to say "$2 million isn't much these days." $2 million in one place after taxes is a lot of money. Maybe if you inherited it or won the lottery it doesn't seem like much.

                    No, she's correct.  It's $2.8 million dollars gross to be shared between two adults who could each live another 30 years.  So, left with approximately $1,652,000 net to give away and share.  It's not a lot of money, it is a tidy addition to a prior good retirement fund though.  It's a happy win.

                    Having millions of dollars in my financial accounts means more, consistent fun for me.Lovies

                      JAP69's avatar - Lottery-053.jpg
                      South Carolina
                      United States
                      Member #6
                      November 4, 2001
                      8511 Posts
                      Online
                      Posted: December 31, 2010, 7:36 am - IP Logged

                      What the heck is monkey bread?

                      http://www.huliq.com/8326/89943/monkey-bread-recipes-are-big-hit-christmas-morning

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