State's 3rd-biggest Lotto jackpot
YAKIMA, Wash. — Deborah Harden hasn't slept well over the last week for a number of reasons: 4.8 million of them.
The 60-year-old Pasco woman, a department store buyer, is Washington's latest lottery millionaire.
She, her husband, Jim, and family members came forward Tuesday at the lottery's regional office in Yakima, collecting a one-time payment of $4.8 million, less withholding, for the April 4 Lotto jackpot of $9.6 million.
They opted for the one-time payment rather than accepting equal installments over the next 25 years.
"I couldn't work the next day. I had real focus issues," Harden said. "I was up all night and all the next day. We haven't slept good yet. It is mind-altering."
The win also is life-altering. Harden said she plans to keep working for awhile at Griggs Department Store, where she has been employed for 20 years. But now there's the option to retire early.
"We were afraid we would have to work to 66 or 67. This will enable us to do things we weren't sure we could do."
This has been a big week for the couple. They will celebrate their 27th wedding anniversary Thursday.
Jim Harden, also 60, operates a mental health counseling business.
Theirs is the third largest Lotto jackpot ever won in Washington state, behind earlier jackpots for $11.7 million and $9.7 million.
The Hardens delayed coming forward to give them time to consult with investment and tax professionals.
Their initial plans are to take a family trip to Disneyland, treat her father-in-law to a gambling trip, enclose their patio, and set up education trusts for their three grandchildren, ages 11, 13 and 14.
They were accompanied by their son, Randy Larsen, 41; their daughter, Jodie LaCroix, 39; and her boyfriend, Pat Osmundson, 47.
Deborah Harden said she checked the Lotto numbers online the night of the drawing. After rechecking, she got her husband out of bed. While she checked the numbers again, he paced, she said.
Harden purchased her computer-pick numbers at a Chevron convenience store in Pasco, one of three places she purchased a total of $13 in tickets.
She confessed she isn't a regular player of the lottery, buying tickets only when the jackpot rises above $5 million.
"I might play more now," she said.