FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
CALDWELL FIRE CHIEF CLAIMS $1,000,000
BOISE, Idaho – Idaho’s
wildfire summer of winning lottery tickets has included six $1,000,000 or
higher prizes, the most recent being claimed by a man who has spent his summer
fighting fires in and around Caldwell.
Mark Wendelsdorf, the Fire Chief for the City
of Caldwell, alongside his wife, claimed the $1,000,000 winning Powerball
ticket sold for the September 19, 2012 draw today at Idaho Lottery headquarters
“I checked the ticket on Thursday morning after the draw at
a store and was told to sign it and take it to Boise,” explained Wendelsdorf on how he found out he had the winning ticket. “But
they couldn’t tell me how much it was, so I thought I’d won maybe $2,500.”
Using an Idaho Lottery smart phone app, he checked his
ticket against the winning numbers and discovered he had matched the first five
numbers on one of the lines.
“I remember when they changed Powerball to $2 per ticket
they also increased the prize amounts. I checked the Lottery’s website and saw
that matching the first five numbers won a million dollars,” continued Wendelsdorf, who despite his discovery still remained unconvinced
he was the winner. “After a morning of
meetings and lunch with my wife, I checked the app again and there was a press
statement from the Lottery saying a million dollar winner had been sold in
Caldwell. That’s when I knew I was the
Wendelsdorf kept winning on the
back burner for another couple of days, despite the winning ticket being a hot
topic of discussion for people around his work. He signed the ticket and locked
it in a safe place at the Fire Station.
When he finally told his wife two days later, she didn’t believe him.
“He’s a big practical joker, so I thought he was kidding. He
went back to work and took a picture of it to prove it to me,” said his wife
Kim. “I still have the picture!”
The Wendelsdorf’s took nearly
three weeks before coming forward to claim their ticket. During the time, the couple put their
financial affairs in order, taking the opportunity to meet with their banker
and accountant before claiming the ticket.
“When we wake up on Friday morning, we will be debt free,”
“Before you receive the check, you feel it’s kind of like Monopoly
money,” added Kim when she held the real check. “Wow, this really is real.”
In addition to being debt free, the Weldensdorf’s
will also treat themselves to a few big presents and then invest the remainder
of their winnings.
The winning ticket was sold at the Stinker Store located at
704 Cleveland Boulevard in Caldwell, a block from the Fire Station. For their part in selling the winning ticket,
Stinker Stores receives a $20,000 bonus from the Idaho Lottery.
The Powerball jackpot for Wednesday night is an estimated $50
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and distributed $552.3 million in Lottery dividends to Idaho public schools and
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