2005-01-05 13:17:53.0

Little Rock, Ark., Group Wins $100,000 in Powerball

Story Photo Christmas was extra special for a group of friends and family members who won $100,000 playing Powerball in Missouri on Christmas day. The five-member group, all from Little Rock, Ark., is sharing the prize after their ticket matched the five white-ball numbers to win the game?s second-level prize. Billy Ellis, 59, said he, his wife, Rinda, his sister, Clara Taylor, and two friends, Danny Harris and Horace Prickett, have been playing lotteries together for the past year. ?I go to Texas or Missouri every six to eight weeks to buy tickets,? Ellis said when he claimed the group?s prize on Dec. 30. ?We headed up to Missouri this last time because my wife wanted to see the fall colors.? Ellis purchased the group?s winning ticket at Rapid Roberts, 295 Laurel St. in Ridgedale. He selected the winning numbers, which were: 29, 32, 39, 45 and 53. Ellis, who works in a body shop, said he plans to use his share - $20,000 before taxes - to pay a few bills and help his granddaughter buy a good used car. ?I have the mind set that if you don?t play, you can?t win,? Ellis said. ?But for a Christmas gift, this is extra special.? To date, 719 tickets worth $100,000 have been sold in Missouri since the Powerball game started in April 1992.

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