ST. CHARLES, Mo. — A St. Charles, Missouri, man and his wife are living the dream that they "never in a gazillion years" expected to have, after they discovered their Powerball ticket from March 22 was worth $96.5 million.
John Brands said he checked his Missouri Lottery tickets with the numbers on the Lottery's website the morning after the drawing, before heading out to play golf. When all six numbers matched, he went to wake his wife, Susan.
"I thought the house was on fire," she said. "I thought he was messing with me."
After showing her the ticket and the website, the pair said they "walked around the house shell-shocked."
"I almost fell over," Susan said remembering the moment she saw all six numbers.
John, a civil engineer, has already quit his job, but Susan, a student studying web design, plans to finish out the semester. John is originally from Portageville, and Susan grew up in Wichita, Kan. Both the Brands are 49-years-old.
As for spending their windfall, the Brands said they plan to "treat themselves to some decent cars," since the cars they currently drive are eight and 10 years old. They also plan to travel, including a trip to New Zealand.
"We're nerds," Susan joked, as she explained they are also movie buffs. "That's where 'The Lord of the Rings' and 'The Hobbit' were filmed."
The Brands also said they plan to spend time doing the things they always wanted to do, but didn't have time, such as learning new languages, going to culinary school to learn cooking techniques and for John, taking guitar lessons.
"We are just so humbled by this experience," Susan added. "John and I both feel very blessed and grateful to have this happen to us."
John also mentioned he would also love to buy some farm land.
"Like the line from the movie 'O Brother, Where Art Thou,' 'You ain't no kind of man, if you ain't got land,'" he quipped.
John Brands purchased the winning ticket at Bridgeton Mobil. He let the computer select the winning combination, which was: 13, 28, 31, 55, 58, and the Powerball was 15. The Brands' prize is the sixth-largest jackpot ever won in Missouri.
Bridgeton Mobil will receive a bonus of $50,000 for selling the winning jackpot ticket.
The Brands are the 29th players to win a Powerball jackpot in Missouri, and the 397th Missouri Lottery-made millionaires, since the Lottery began in 1986.
Thanks to lejardin for the tip.