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Member of the Watertown 34 wins big again

For Immediate Release: 11/13/2007

(Pierre) - Athena Rush of Watertown today claimed the $200,000 Powerball prize she won in Saturday night’s drawing. Rush matched the five white balls, but not the red Powerball to win the game’s second prize.

Rush missed the jackpot by one number, but said the excitement isn’t any different than winning the jackpot. She would know. Rush was a member of “The Watertown 34,” the group of Minnesota Rubber workers that won a $50.9 million Powerball prize nearly five years ago.

“My feet still haven’t touched the ground,” Rush said about winning her latest prize. “I can’t believe it’s the second time around. It’ll probably take a couple of days to come down.”

The Watertown 34 became the first Powerball jackpot winners from South Dakota, splitting a $101.8 million jackpot with another winning ticket in Indiana for the February 1, 2003 drawing. The Watertown group chose the one-time cash option of $27,409,943 for their half of the jackpot. After taxes, each member of the group received $588,507.

Rush, who retired about a year after the group hit the jackpot, said she had no idea she’d won again until she checked her tickets at a convenience store Sunday morning. The clerk told her the news. “I just didn’t believe it,” she said. “I went to two other places after that to check the numbers. I’ve just been floored the whole time.”

Rush bought her ticket at the Cowboy Country Store on 9th Ave SE in Watertown - the same store where The Watertown 34 purchased their jackpot-winning ticket. The store will receive a $10,000 bonus for selling Rush the winning “quick pick” ticket.

Wayne Feeblekorn, the store’s manager, said he’s about as excited as Rush for having sold another big prize winning ticket at his store. “It’s great. We’re tickled to death we sold it,” he said. “We must have the right tickets,” he joked.

The estimated jackpot for Wednesday’s Powerball jackpot is $95 million. The odds of winning the jackpot are 1:146,107,962. The odds of winning the game’s $200,000 second prize are 1:3,563,609. Powerball is played in 29 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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