A 29-year-old single mother from Washington, Ind., cashed in her Powerball ticket worth $95.4 million Wednesday, becoming the biggest individual winner in Hoosier Lottery history.
Regina Mandabach, a secretary for Hoosier Insurance, grinned as she accepted a giant check from lottery officials. She chose the cash option, which means she'll take home $49.7 million before taxes.
Mandabach could have chosen to take a total of $95.45 million in annual payments over 30 years.
"Has it sunk in? No," Mandabach said. "My mind's not clear right now."
She bought a quick-pick ticket for Saturday's drawing. It was one of two winning tickets. Mandabach splits the $190.9 million jackpot with 15 school cooks and a janitor from Minnesota who came forward on Monday.
Mandabach said she is not sure how she will be spending her money, although her children have already asked for a mountain bike and a mo-ped. She plans to have a special Christmas for her children, ages 9 and 10.
"I will take care of my family. Now they will never have another worry," she said. "I'll worry about myself later. I always said if I won the lottery no one in my family would ever have to worry again," she said.
Mandabach said she learned she had the winning numbers after a Sunday morning news show aired footage of the Shell Food Mart where she had purchased her ticket. She checked her numbers, 6-17-45-47-48 and Powerball 4 -- and they matched. Mandabach bought only one single ticket.
"I ran to my parents' house and scared them because I pounded on the door," she said. "When they opened it, I was out of breath and my face was white. I finally got it out that I won Powerball."
An occasional Powerball player, her one lucky ticket turned out to be her ticket to riches.
"Every now and then I'd buy them and of course I never won. So it was like well ain't I something. Well I really am something now."
She did receive a check for her millions, but she will not officially collect her cash for another 10 days.
But, even when she does get her hands on the money Mandabach says she still plans to stay in Indiana.
Mandabach said a trip to Disney World is a possibility.
She said yesterday that until now, money has been tight.
"Of course. I'm a single mother," she said.
She added that she had been "the biggest secret in Washington, Ind., for the last couple days."
Mandabach is the winner of the Hoosier Lottery's 19th Powerball jackpot -- making Indiana home to more winners than any of the other 25 participating states.
The latest winner's identity had been a mystery in Washington, a southwestern Indiana town with a population of about 11,000.
Mandabach broke her silence when her lawyer called lottery officials Wednesday. Accompanied by her mother, father, brother, sister and cousin, she traveled to Indianapolis to cash in her ticket. Daviess County Sheriff Jerry Harbstreit did the driving, giving the family their own police escort.
"I thought she needed some security," Harbstreit said. "She's carrying a pretty valuable piece of paper."
This jackpot is the 10th largest in the world and Indiana's second-largest payout. The retailer that sold the ticket will receive $100,000.
AP Photo/AJ Mast
Regina Mandabach takes questions from the media after being announced as a Powerball jackpot winner during a news conference Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2003, at the Hoosier Lottery offices in Indianapolis.
AP Photo/AJ Mast
Regina Mandabach accepts a ceremonial check for the $95.4 million Powerball jackpot from Hoosier Lottery director John Ross.
AP Photo/AJ Mast
Regina Mandabach posses with her parents Aldrich and Connie Mandabach.