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$102 million lottery winners - 17 years later

After the Big WinAfter the Big Win: $102 million lottery winners - 17 years later
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Includes video report

PHOENIX, AZ — Playing Powerball tonight? You may want to hear what a Phoenix woman has to say — she won Arizona's biggest Powerball jackpot nearly 20 years ago.

On March 4th, 1995, part time secretary Shirley Pence stopped by a 7/11 store near 24th Avenue and Greenway in Phoenix to buy a Powerball quick pick ticket. Turned out she had a winner.

"Oh we just grabbed each other and held each other," she said. "And I cried and shook."

Don, a self employed house painter, and his wife Shirley, lived a modest life in North Phoenix 17 years ago.

Their daughter and grandson were at the news conference to celebrate.

The Powerball lottery hit Arizona in 1994 and the Pence's hit the Powerball a year later.

The Pence's little ticket led to a big check that changed their lives to the tune of $102 Million.

Both in their mid 50's, the Pence's immediately retired, and were stunned at what happened following this news conference in Phoenix.

Shirley Pence said, "We'd wake up in the morning and we'd have gifts on the front porch, flowers, alarm clocks, just all kinds of things. It just got ridiculous. So we got out of town for a while."

Shirley talked to us from the couple's home in Florida. They spend half their time in Arizona in their home North of the valley.

Looking back 17 years to the blur of winning Powerball, Pence says it was a blessing but for a while she says it was also depressing.

"A lot of people wanted money," she said. "We had one situation where they threatened to kidnap our grandson and our dog. I mean it was like okay people give me a break, this is ridiculous."

There was another surprise for the couple, when they discovered the only thing they had in common with rich people was their bank accounts. Shirley said she found the rich to be kind of annoying. She said, "A lot of them are just, they take everything for granted. They don't say thank-you they don't clean up after themselves. It just irritates me."

Every once in a while Shirley said she'll buy a lottery ticket just for the heck of it. But when we asked her why most big jackpot winners seem to come from Southern states or states in the Midwest, she said, "I don't know." Adding, "If there are more people in the states that have won, that's the only thing I can think of. It's just more people who buy tickets."

So, we took our question to the source, the Arizona Lottery. And we asked, why does it seem that Arizonans don't hit huge lottery jackpots?

Karen Bach said it's not true, that Arizona has had 10 big winners. She said, "Those jackpots ranged in prize value from just over $5 million to $102 million."

But the number of jackpot winners doing news conferences, and getting the big check for all to see, has dwindled. Many jackpot winners these days want to remain anonymous.

Though a teacher from Fort Mohave did step up to publicly claim her $95 million jackpot in December 2010.

Bach says Powerball winners in Arizona have collected over half a billion dollars in winnings from $10,000 on up since 1994. She says, "It's so much more than just the jackpot because there's other people winning $10,000, $100,000 or $1 million so it's not just all about the jackpot. There's so much more money to be spread around."

Don and Shirley Pence were in their 50's when they hit the big Powerball jackpot. They chose the annuity, taking $3.5 million dollars every year for 20 years.

In three years the lottery checks will stop coming, but the Pence's are set financially. They've also given generously to charity, including animal causes in Yavapai County, and to Big Brothers and Big Sisters.

Now they are counting their blessings in Florida and Arizona. "We got the best of both worlds," Shirley said. "We are really blessed."

VIDEO: Watch the news report

http://media.lpimg.com/2012052301.mp4

Thanks to lottoball for the tip.

FOX 10 News

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50 comments. Last comment 2 years ago by Lucky5of5.
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tntea's avatar - Lottery-059.jpg

United States
Member #5344
June 30, 2004
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Posted: May 23, 2012, 10:26 am - IP Logged

What a nice story!

     OLD/Vtrac   Lottery Bible         Double Warnings      Thumbs Up TN F34/F44


    United States
    Member #111446
    May 25, 2011
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    Posted: May 23, 2012, 10:26 am - IP Logged

    Nice story, and 17 years later they have something to show for it!  Banana

      Avatar
      Delaware
      United States
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      July 1, 2010
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      Posted: May 23, 2012, 10:52 am - IP Logged

      For some reason i think this was one of the smart moves for getting the annuity..

        hearsetrax's avatar - 78638c467ef281febf24383e126f74b6

        United States
        Member #52345
        May 21, 2007
        1848 Posts
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        Posted: May 23, 2012, 10:56 am - IP Logged

        For some reason i think this was one of the smart moves for getting the annuity..

        Skeptical you think so ??......

        honestly I've been flip-flopping over which would bring less grief and most enjoyment

          Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
          Zeta Reticuli Star System
          United States
          Member #30470
          January 17, 2006
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          Posted: May 23, 2012, 11:24 am - IP Logged

          From the OP:

          "A lot of people wanted money," she said. "We had one situation where they threatened to kidnap our grandson and our dog. I mean it was like okay people give me a break, this is ridiculous."

          There was another surprise for the couple, when they discovered the only thing they had in common with rich people was their bank accounts. Shirley said she found the rich to be kind of annoying. She said, "A lot of them are just, they take everything for granted. They don't say thank-you they don't clean up after themselves. It just irritates me."

          • Speaks volumes. One book even suggested Kidnap & Ransom insurance for jackpot winners.
          • The rich see lottery winners as not having done anything to earn their wealth, nor having a birthright to it (inheriting it)

          Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any.

          Lep

          There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.


            Bahamas
            Member #114689
            August 5, 2011
            422 Posts
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            Posted: May 23, 2012, 11:29 am - IP Logged

            From the OP:

            "A lot of people wanted money," she said. "We had one situation where they threatened to kidnap our grandson and our dog. I mean it was like okay people give me a break, this is ridiculous."

            There was another surprise for the couple, when they discovered the only thing they had in common with rich people was their bank accounts. Shirley said she found the rich to be kind of annoying. She said, "A lot of them are just, they take everything for granted. They don't say thank-you they don't clean up after themselves. It just irritates me."

            • Speaks volumes. One book even suggested Kidnap & Ransom insurance for jackpot winners.
            • The rich see lottery winners as not having done anything to earn their wealth, nor having a birthright to it (inheriting it)

            And those who INHERITED their wealth should be viewed the same way then...

            "Freedom of Speech? Keep reading and you will discover that freedom comes at a price!"

              maximumfun's avatar - Lottery-064.jpg

              United States
              Member #124621
              March 16, 2012
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              Posted: May 23, 2012, 12:17 pm - IP Logged

              lovely.  just lovely!  they won together, have stayed together, have not squandered all their money, and are loving their life recognizing that they have been blessed.  lovely.

                time*treat's avatar - radar

                United States
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                March 30, 2005
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                Posted: May 23, 2012, 12:58 pm - IP Logged

                It takes a special kind of lowlife to threaten to kidnap a man's dog. Angry

                In neo-conned Amerika, bank robs you.
                Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms should be the name of a convenience store, not a govnoment agency.


                  United States
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                  May 25, 2011
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                  Posted: May 23, 2012, 1:10 pm - IP Logged

                  It takes a special kind of lowlife to threaten to kidnap a man's dog. Angry

                  I Agree!    Green laugh

                    dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
                    Oklahoma
                    United States
                    Member #82391
                    November 12, 2009
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                    Posted: May 23, 2012, 1:17 pm - IP Logged

                    Nice story indeed....

                    I Love Pink & Green 1908

                      dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
                      Oklahoma
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                      November 12, 2009
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                      Posted: May 23, 2012, 1:19 pm - IP Logged

                      lovely.  just lovely!  they won together, have stayed together, have not squandered all their money, and are loving their life recognizing that they have been blessed.  lovely.

                      I Agree!

                      I Love Pink & Green 1908

                        Avatar
                        new york
                        United States
                        Member #123022
                        February 11, 2012
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                        Posted: May 23, 2012, 2:01 pm - IP Logged

                        lol why send alarm clocks to lottery winners

                          Cletu$2's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
                          S.E.Iowa
                          United States
                          Member #120509
                          December 21, 2011
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                          Posted: May 23, 2012, 3:07 pm - IP Logged

                          What a lovely couple.

                          What a lucky couple.

                          What a lucky,lovely couple.

                          When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it. ~Clarence Darrow

                          There ought to be one day - just one - when there is open season on senators. ~Will Rogers

                            NightStalker's avatar - IMG00073 20100720-1609_2.jpg
                            Nothing Good Happens After Midnight
                            East of Columbus, OH
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                            December 28, 2011
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                            Posted: May 23, 2012, 3:10 pm - IP Logged

                            A perfect reason why all states should allow you to remain anonymous.  Threats of violence and kidnapping.

                             

                            Glad everything worked out for them and that they have been able to stay together.

                            Life's Too Short To Be Unhappy Cool