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$102 million lottery winners - 17 years later

May 23, 2012, 10:02 am

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After the Big WinAfter the Big Win: $102 million lottery winners - 17 years laterRating:

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

https://lp.vg/media/2012052301.mp4

Thanks to lottoball for the tip.

FOX 10 News

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50 comments. Last comment 8 years ago by Lucky5of5.
Page 1 of 4
tntea's avatar - Lottery-059.jpg
50

United States
Member #5344
June 30, 2004
23647 Posts
Offline

What a nice story!

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


    United States
    Member #111438
    May 25, 2011
    6323 Posts
    Offline

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

      Avatar
      Delaware
      United States
      Member #93499
      July 1, 2010
      540 Posts
      Offline

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

        hearsetrax's avatar - alien on_computer.jpg

        United States
        Member #52343
        May 21, 2007
        3289 Posts
        Offline

        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
          100
          Zeta Reticuli Star System
          United States
          Member #30469
          January 17, 2006
          11503 Posts
          Offline

          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. So many systems, so many theories, so few jackpot winners. 

          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 #114681
            August 5, 2011
            422 Posts
            Offline

            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-030.jpg

              United States
              Member #124612
              March 16, 2012
              3713 Posts
              Offline

              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
                Member #13130
                March 30, 2005
                2171 Posts
                Offline

                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
                  Member #111438
                  May 25, 2011
                  6323 Posts
                  Offline

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

                  I Agree!    Green laugh

                    dallascowboyfan's avatar - chi
                    Oklahoma
                    United States
                    Member #82389
                    November 12, 2009
                    6371 Posts
                    Offline

                    Nice story indeed....

                    I Love Pink & Green 1908

                      dallascowboyfan's avatar - chi
                      Oklahoma
                      United States
                      Member #82389
                      November 12, 2009
                      6371 Posts
                      Offline

                      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 #123013
                        February 11, 2012
                        124 Posts
                        Offline

                        lol why send alarm clocks to lottery winners

                          Cletu$2's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
                          S.E.Iowa
                          United States
                          Member #120500
                          December 21, 2011
                          534 Posts
                          Offline

                          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 - mortaine
                            East of Columbus, OH
                            United States
                            Member #120839
                            December 28, 2011
                            455 Posts
                            Offline

                            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