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February 21, 2006

Corrections Employees From Bland Claim $200,000 Powerball Prize

Story Photo audio icon Two employees at the Jefferson City Correctional Center are in the money after one of their Powerball plays for the Feb. 15 drawing matched all five white-ball numbers drawn to win $200,000. Thomas "Tom" Koch, 39, of Bland said he and his girlfriend, Crystal Turner, each bought Powerball tickets last night when they stopped at Ray Ray’s in Belle for gas. "We play just when it’s (jackpot) real high," said Koch, who is a corrections officer. Crystal Turner is a clerk II for the Correctional Center. Koch said that he and Turner had each completed play slips with $5 worth of plays in their truck, three of their own numbers and two Quick Picks. But there was a problem with the Lottery machine reading the markings on one of the slips, so Koch had to complete another slip at the store. "I was just going to say ’the heck with it,’ but I said, ’no, I’m going to sit down and play,’ because it (jackpot) was $308 million last night," Koch said. "If I had just walked out of the door, I wouldn’t be sitting here." Koch said he and Turner will share the prize equally. They plan to pay off all of their bills and take their children to Walt Disney World with the prize money. "I actually get to pay for my daughter to go on her senior trip to Mexico, pay for graduation and her graduation pictures," Koch said. "I wasn’t going to be able to help a whole lot on it before that, but I am going to be able to now." Koch and Turner said they also plan to buy some land with their prize money and make a donation to a fund to help a co-worker who has cancer. "(It was the) best $9 I ever spent," Koch said. Koch’s winning play was a Quick Picked play. The winning numbers were: 3, 13, 35, 39 and 40. The second-level prize increased from $100,000 to $200,000 when Powerball underwent a game redesign that took effect on Aug. 28, 2005. The game changes were made to create larger and faster growing jackpots. Since the game’s redesign, 24 winning $200,000 Powerball tickets have been sold in Missouri.





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