Powerball Winner Lan Nguyen, aged 37, chose the winning numbers of 15, 17, 24, 26, 35 and a Powerball of 38 to win $116.8 million. Nguyen picked the numbers because they made a pretty pattern on the card, not because they were significant to him.
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Lan ‘Bill’ Nguyen, from Pierre, South Dakota, loves to take his son and wife fishing.
On 16th May 2006, he was taking his six year old son Alexander, to fish for bluegill and crappie at Hayes Lake, when he realised he needed petrol. Nguyen stopped at the Kum & Go Store on West Sioux Avenue in Pierre, South Dakota and decided to play Powerball. Kum & Go will be the happy recipients of a $50,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket for the Powerball results the following day.
The shop which sold $208.6 million winners 100 Miracles their ticket in 2006 benefitted from an impressive $100,000 commission.
Bill Nguyen and his wife Tina, aged 30 moved to Pierre six years ago to open a Colourful Nails salon.
They had previously owned a nail business in Watertown. On the morning of 18th May, someone told Bill that they had heard the Powerball results and it said that the winning ticket had been bought in Pierre.
“My heart starting pumping,” Nguyen said, but he was so busy at work that he didn’t get a chance to look at his ticket let alone realise he was the Powerball winner. Then one of his clients told him that everyone in Pierre was saying that the winning ticket for the Powerball lottery had been purchased at the Kum & Go on West Sioux Avenue. “I couldn’t move my hands. I thought it might be me, but I couldn’t leave the shop.”
Bill dropped Alexander off at his swimming lesson and then went to Kum & Go to check the Powerball results. When he saw the winning Powerball numbers and realised they were his numbers, he fell into a state of shock. “Then I didn’t know what to do. I put the ticket in the car and locked the door.”
The first person Nguyen rang was his mother but she only believed him once he told her to tell his father.
When Tina came home from work, he took her fishing to break the news to her. Still, neither the Nguyen’s could believe that they had won the Powerball lottery jackpot and they stopped at another two stores to check their ticket against the winning Powerball numbers.
“I was sure I had the winning ticket, but I couldn’t believe it. It was like a dream.”
The Nguyen’s were finding it impossible to sleep and couldn’t concentrate on their work at the salon. They kept on checking the Powerball lottery ticket until Bill said to Tina, “Don’t check it too much, you’ll damage it and it won’t be good.”
Lan ‘Bill’ Nguyen declined the big press conference and turned up at the State Lottery Headquarters almost three weeks after their win. Norm Lingle said that he spent about an hour chatting to the couple and their attorney, while their ticket was being validated. “I don’t know whose hearts were beating faster, ours or theirs.” They have decided to take the cash payout of $51,584,755, which will be $38,688,566 after taxes.
Tim and Kellie Guderian won $200.8 million in 2006 and also chose the cash option for their prize.
On May 17th 2006, Bill Nguyen caught a lot of fish at Hayes Lake, but Lingle said, “After he discovered he was the holder of the winning ticket, one of the things he did to pass the time and to collect his thoughts was to go fishing again, and ever since he had the winning Powerball numbers, he did not catch a fish.
The ironic thing is that, from all the reports I have heard in the Pierre area right now…fishing is unbelievable and people are having lots of success.”
The Nguyen’s have not told anyone what they intend to do with their Powerball Lottery jackpot win except that they will support some charities in Pierre and give back to the community that have been so kind to them over the years. However, first, they intend to take a very long vacation and plan their future very carefully.
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