2009-03-10 08:50:43.04

Columbia Woman Claims $10,000 Powerball Prize

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A Columbia woman’s last-minute decision to purchase a Powerball ticket during a quick stop for gas in mid-February led to a $10,000 surprise in March.

Meskerem Asfaw, 24, purchased the Powerball ticket at Q Stop V, 2140 Terra Lane in O’Fallon for the Feb. 11 drawing.  However, it wasn’t until a few weeks later that she realized it was a winner.

“I don’t usually check them (tickets) right away,” said Asfaw, a first time Lottery winner who buys Powerball tickets “just once in a while.”

She held on to the ticket and later had it scanned at another gas station.

“When they told me, I didn’t believe it,” she said.

Asfaw wants “to do a nursing program” and plans to put her winnings toward “school tuition.”

Powerball is a multi-state game with jackpots that start at $20 million.  Drawings are held every Wednesday and Saturday at 9:59 p.m.  Players have 180 days from each drawing date to claim a prize.

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