2007-04-04 11:37:52.353

Columbia Woman Comes Home to Lottery Prize

Story Photo A Columbia woman came home from vacation and discovered she was $200,000 richer. Shirley Kowalewski took off work on April 2after a family vacation to do laundry and catch up from being out of town. Her day off ended up being a little more exciting than doing laundry when she checked her Powerball ticket from March 21 and realized she had matched all five white-ball numbers to win the second-level prize.
Kowalewski, 49, purchased her ticket at Casey’s, 1011 E. Chaparral in Columbia, before her family went on vacation in San Antonio during the last week of March. She used Quick Pick to let the computer select the number combinations on her $5 ticket. The winning numbers were 16, 24, 38, 53 and 54.
Kowalewski said she stopped at Casey’s again on the afternoon of April 2 and saw a sign saying that the store sold a $200,000 winning Powerball ticket. When she got home, she checked her numbers on the Lottery’s Web site at Molottery.com.
"It was the last set of numbers," Kowalewski said.
Not believing that she had won, Kowalewski double-checked her tickets in the newspaper, and then had her daughter check them again.
Kowalewski said she had been worried if the family had been spending too much money while they were in San Antonio, and now she doesn’t have to worry about it. She also plans to pay off her mortgage with the prize.
"It feels good," Kowalewski said of her win.
Kowalewski and her husband, Tom, have a 19-year-old son and 15-year-old twin daughters.
"We want to spend it soundly before the kids figure out what they want to do with it," Tom said.
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, 70 winning $200,000 Powerball tickets have been sold in Missouri.

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