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First WV lottery winner gets final annuity check

West Virginia LotteryWest Virginia Lottery: First WV lottery winner gets final annuity check

A Wood County man who was the West Virginia Lottery's first jackpot winner received his last of 20 payments on Wednesday.

Russell Husk, a private man who doesn't do interviews, was a a 24-year-old maintenance worker for a Parkersburg restaurant when he won $3.74 million on March 20, 1986. He won the money after spinning the lottery wheel on the weekly televised Grand Prize Show.

The lottery at that time only offered instant tickets and spinning the wheel was how players could win jackpots. Husk had bought a $100 winning ticket, which made him eligible for weekly drawings to appear on the TV show.

Lottery Director John Musgrave said that after taxes, each of Husk's 20 prize payments were $128,095. He noted that in the show's two-year run, 764 finalists took home $25 million and more than $18 million was paid to 14 jackpot winners.

"It's been a blessing,'' Husk said. ''I won it on spring day, the first day of spring. On hindsight, that meant something. It was a new life for me. A good life. I've been able to focus on raising my kids the way I want to.

''To raise children right, you have to spend time with them, instill good moral values, how to treat others. If I had worked in the plants, I wouldn't have had a life. My free time would have been spent sleeping,'' he said. ''As it is, I was also able to help my parents, who have since passed. My nine sisters and brothers and I are very close. We all live in the Parkersburg area and get our families together at holidays."

One of 10 children, Husk 20 years ago told reporters he planned on helping his parents and his first purchase was a new Camaro. His first donation other than to the church was to the West Virginia University hospital for children.

Husk and his wife, Lori, the teller at his bank he married, have a 16-year-old daughter and a 12-year-old son.

Husk, who had received a degree in business from Mountain State Business College, quit his job at the restaurant when he won. He ran a greeting card shop for two years, a construction company for seven and worked construction for 15 years.

He is getting a degree in computer information technology at West Virginia University at Parkersburg.

Parkersburg News

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8 comments. Last comment 12 years ago by DoctorEw220.
Page 1 of 1
weshar75's avatar - Lottery-042.jpg
Mcminnville, Oregon
United States
Member #3013
December 13, 2003
3047 Posts
Posted: March 18, 2005, 12:31 pm - IP Logged

It is nice to hear that not every lotto winner in West Virginia is a nut like JW.

    United States
    Member #379
    June 5, 2002
    11296 Posts
    Posted: March 18, 2005, 1:10 pm - IP Logged

    Unfortunately, there was no such thing as a cash option in 1986.

      LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
      United States
      Member #7853
      October 15, 2004
      11338 Posts
      Posted: March 18, 2005, 4:57 pm - IP Logged

      cash only...isn't it a shame that all those people back then never got a chance to get it all at once in cash when they won and had to settle for annuity

        emilyg's avatar - cat anm.gif

        United States
        Member #14
        November 9, 2001
        31343 Posts
        Posted: March 18, 2005, 7:06 pm - IP Logged

        but that's exactly why he's still solvent.

        love to nibble those micey feet.



          United States
          Member #1849
          July 15, 2003
          265 Posts
          Posted: March 18, 2005, 8:28 pm - IP Logged

          A good story, nice to hear finally. Hehe

            LuckyFoxTerrier's avatar - anglewings
            mt. airy, nc
            United States
            Member #10832
            January 27, 2005
            160 Posts
            Posted: March 20, 2005, 1:13 pm - IP Logged

            so much for that theory that "money can't make you happy."  :)



              United States
              Member #379
              June 5, 2002
              11296 Posts
              Posted: March 20, 2005, 2:07 pm - IP Logged

              Money won't make you happy if you are collecting annual lottery payments.

                DoctorEw220's avatar - alien helmet.jpg
                Yinzer Country, PA
                United States
                Member #4067
                March 18, 2004
                2741 Posts
                Posted: March 20, 2005, 4:57 pm - IP Logged

                CASH Only: I don't think you realize why lotteries use annuities. They do it so people do not piss it away within a week. It's been shown that those who take the annuity do better than those who go for a lump sum. Haven't you heard all of those stories of people who took the lump sum, and are broke now?

                I've redone my website.  Go to www.dr-ew.com.  I kept a lot of the old stuff, and I've added some new stuff.  Look for more new stuff in the coming weeks.