A retired electrician and World War II veteran is the winner of the largest lottery jackpot ever sold in Missouri — worth more than a quarter of a billion dollars.
Jim Wilson II's, 84, and his wife, Shirley, say they will share the money with three sons. One of those sons, Terry Wilson, who said he hasn't had a vacation in 30 years, likely will be headed to Australia for some rest and recreation.
Jim Wilson came forward Monday to claim the winning prize from last Wednesday's drawing, said Missouri lottery spokeswoman Susan Goedde. The family was introduced at an afternoon news conference in Chesterfield.
Jim Wilson bought the winning ticket just one hour before the close of Powerball sales.
Wilson asked for a $5 ticket at a store shortly before the drawing, and the clerk mentioned that the shop had some $5 Powerball "Quick Pick" tickets with computer-selected numbers already printed, the statement said.
Wilson agreed and took the next ticket, which turned out to be the single winner.
The state lottery said it was the 10th biggest lottery jackpot in the world ever won on a single ticket.
Wilson and his wife, Shirley, 79, have three grown sons, James, 59, William, 54, and Terril, 53, all of St. Louis, and the family has been buying lottery tickets for years with an agreement to share the winnings.
We all buy family Powerball tickets, but mom and dad only buy tickets when the jackpot gets high," said Terril Wilson. "I think this is the first one he's bought in the last six months. This ticket only cost us $1 each, which we were happy to pay."
Officials said the family had hired a former U.S. Internal Revenue Service lawyer to help it handle the winnings.
The money comes after a hard year for two of the Wilson sons, who lost their jobs.
Terry Wilson, 53, was forced to retire from a company where he had worked 32 years. His brother, Bill Wilson, 54, lost his job when the company he worked for closed. He is, however, working a new job for an area school district. A third brother, Jim Wilson III, is 59.
Shirley Wilson, 79, is a homemaker.
The lone winning ticket — 9-19-29-42-53 and a Powerball number of 17 — was purchased at a Dierbergs grocery store in south St. Louis County. Dierbergs will get $50,000 for selling the ticket.
Jim Wison has the option of receiving the $254 million in 30 payments over 29 years, or accepting a lump-sum payment worth $120 million before taxes.
It's the largest prize in the Missouri Lottery's 21-year history and the seventh-largest Powerball jackpot ever.
Powerball winners in Missouri have 180 days from the drawing to claim their prize.