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Laid off Indiana factory worker claims $89 million Powerball jackpot

PowerballPowerball: Laid off Indiana factory worker claims $89 million Powerball jackpot

Tim Rivers had a dream last Tuesday night that he'd won $200 million in the lottery.

Rivers, 23, of Salem, who'd been laid off recently, told his family about the dream.

They laughed at him.

Rivers said he told his wife, "Why can't that happen to us?"

It did.

He and his wife, Pam, were the only winners of Saturday's $89 million Powerball jackpot. Because they opted for the lump-sum cash payout, the win was worth $49.9 million about $35 million after tax withholding.

In an interview last night, Tim Rivers said he "had a feeling" when he checked the five picks on his $5 Powerball ticket Sunday morning. He checked them again, and then told his wife to check them.

He then called his mother, waking her up with the news.

"I told him he'd better not be lying," said his mother, whose name is also Pam Rivers.

Tim Rivers said it was the first ticket he'd purchased since his birthday in November.

The couple's immediate plans are to buy homes for family members, as well as "a big ol' home" in the Salem area, he said, for themselves, their 4-year-old daughter, Taylor, and 6-month-old son, Devin.

Sitting in the living room of his gray mobile home last night, where a framed marriage license hangs on the wall next to the head of a 10-point buck, Rivers said, "I'm no different from anybody else. I see people who won (a lottery prize) that don't need it. Between us," he said, motioning to his wife, "we only had $100. We needed it."

Rivers was laid off from his factory job last week, and his wife works at a day-care center.

The couple drove to Indianapolis yesterday to claim their prize. Although they won't receive the money for 10 days to two weeks, they didn't return empty-handed last night. They each received a small red bag with Hoosier Lottery souvenirs, including three golf balls, a T-shirt and a hat, and a red Hoosier Lottery coffee mug.

Yesterday morning, before leaving for Indianapolis, Tim Rivers stopped by a car dealership in Salem to check out new vehicles. The couple plan to buy a Ford Explorer and a Jeep Cherokee.

Rivers said they plan to go on a vacation and he wants to go back to school to become a mechanic and then open his own shop, according to a news release from the lottery.

He bought the Powerball ticket at Cowboy Food Stores in Salem. The store's manager, Terry Walker, said an employee called him at home about 6:30 a.m. Sunday to tell him Tim Rivers had the winning ticket 11, 44, 45, 48, 50 and Powerball of 2.

Walker said Rivers stops at the store every morning for coffee and a newspaper. Yesterday morning, when a clerk asked if he'd like a lottery ticket, Rivers said, "Oh, I don't think so," according to Walker.

Walker said store employees are "very, very happy" for Rivers. "It couldn't happen to a nicer guy. I'm glad it's somebody like that who won it."

He said Rivers had called him five or six times to talk about what he might do with the winnings. "He was real cool," Walker said. "I don't think it's hit him yet."

Walker said the previous big ticket sold at the store was a $5,000 winner a few years ago. He estimated the store will receive $100,000 for selling the winning Powerball ticket.

According to the Hoosier Lottery, the Riverses are the first Powerball jackpot winners from Washington County. Twice, players there have won $100,000 prizes.

Two county residents have won Hoosier Lotto jackpots totaling more than $6.1 million.

Rivers told lottery officials yesterday that "winning that much money terrified me." So he contacted an attorney before turning in the ticket.

Schoan Nahre, the player relations manager at the Hoosier Lottery, said officials were surprised the couple came forward so soon. Many winners wait weeks to claim their prize.

But Nahre said officials are "happy he's already getting professional advice."

"They're looking for possible ways to invest or save," Nahre said. "They want to save for their kids' college."

Pam Rivers said last night she wasn't sure if she would return to her day-care job.

Her husband said he planned to go to school, continue driving in demolition derby and "pickin' a little guitar."

Tim Rivers said they wouldn't be staying last night in their mobile home, which had three bicycles, three folding chairs and a snow shovel clustered around the stairs to the front door.

Asked where he would be staying, he shrugged. "Wherever our little feet take us."


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17 comments. Last comment 13 years ago by fja.
Page 1 of 2
Tang's avatar - abstract
Atlanta, Georgia
United States
Member #465
July 9, 2002
2351 Posts
Posted: March 16, 2004, 7:48 am - IP Logged

Dreams can come true, just believe!!

A much needed blessing.

Don't forget to flip those 6's/9's.


    United States
    Member #972
    December 30, 2002
    465 Posts
    Posted: March 16, 2004, 8:01 am - IP Logged

    Only 23 years old, and the perfect amount to live a great life for the next 60 years. Don't blow it, man. Read the cautionary tale of Jack Whittaker.  If they can limit their spending to $333,333 a year, they'll have enough money to last 105 years. And that's without interest.

      fja's avatar - gnome1

      United States
      Member #91
      January 19, 2002
      12215 Posts
      Posted: March 16, 2004, 8:22 am - IP Logged

      Good for them,,,,,go to school & learn how to manage your money....rely on professional help, but make sure you understand what they're talking about!

      "Everybody has to believe in something...I believe I'll have another beer!"   = W.C.Fields                      

        New Member
        Dade City
        United States
        Member #3961
        March 8, 2004
        12 Posts
        Posted: March 16, 2004, 10:44 am - IP Logged

        I'm so happy for them. First

          mayan27's avatar - Lottery-009.jpg
          United States
          Member #2426
          October 2, 2003
          84 Posts
          Posted: March 16, 2004, 12:43 pm - IP Logged



            BRAVO!!!!!!.Dreams can be realities if you believe.God is so good.Best wishesto you Tim.

            2theQ's avatar - voodoo
            United States
            Member #3905
            March 1, 2004
            43 Posts
            Posted: March 16, 2004, 6:20 pm - IP Logged

            Live long and proud and belive in GOD he is sooo good!~~~2theQ~~~

              Milwaukee, WI
              United States
              Member #3131
              December 27, 2003
              665 Posts
              Posted: March 16, 2004, 8:31 pm - IP Logged

              > Tim Rivers said he "had a

                JAP69's avatar - alas
                South Carolina
                United States
                Member #6
                November 4, 2001
                8800 Posts
                Posted: March 16, 2004, 10:37 pm - IP Logged

                A dollar and a dream.



                  Member #2444
                  October 4, 2003
                  234 Posts
                  Posted: March 17, 2004, 12:46 am - IP Logged

                  Hey dude...it must have been a QP ticket...was it?! LOL...Congrats!! Keep your heads on your shoulders and feet on earth...walk tall. Time to laugh at those responsible for your layoff!!

                  Just Monkeying Around With Numbers...!

                    twisted's avatar - underground
                    New Jersey
                    United States
                    Member #2376
                    September 25, 2003
                    582 Posts
                    Posted: March 17, 2004, 8:48 am - IP Logged

                    Here is a picture of the winner if you guys wanted to see it.


                      United States
                      Member #1610
                      June 3, 2003
                      668 Posts
                      Posted: March 17, 2004, 8:05 pm - IP Logged
                      Quote: O
                      ... the lottery never fails to surprise!
                        LottoBuddy's avatar - tails

                        Member #3722
                        February 15, 2004
                        46 Posts
                        Posted: March 18, 2004, 2:33 am - IP Logged

                        Researchers have proven that humans are unable to produce a random sequence of responses.  While lottery results are randomly generated, individuals perform badly when they attempt to be random generators.  For example, there is a clear reluctance of individuals (compared to a truly random generator) to make selections containing consecutive numbers.

                        The moral of these stories are that each and every combination has the same infinitesimal chance of being drawn.  Contrary to the claims by Gail Howard and other so-called lottery "experts", "unlikely" combinations such as 1-2-3-4-5-6 have the same chance of being drawn as any of their "expert" picks.

                          Jake649's avatar - scene sunovermountains.jpg

                          Member #2673
                          November 2, 2003
                          497 Posts
                          Posted: March 18, 2004, 7:30 am - IP Logged


                          I strongly agree with you. I find it disheartening that many (if not most) players do not agree. The reason it bothers me is that these types of players are sometimes taken advantage of by being sold bogus "systems".

                          Good luck,

                            New Member
                            United States
                            Member #3922
                            March 3, 2004
                            1 Posts
                            Posted: March 18, 2004, 7:42 am - IP Logged

                            Im HAPPY for you  and family and its so weird-----I had a DREAM Tuesday night I won 3 Million dollars--------COME ON BABYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY LOL