(PIERRE) - Bonnie Schmidt of Buffalo today claimed her $77,039 Dakota Cash jackpot for the Sept. 19, 2009 drawing at the Rapid City Lottery office.
Schmidt purchased the Quick Pick ticket at Henderson Oil in Buffalo. The store will receive a bonus of about $3,852 for selling the winning ticket. This is the sixth time this year the jackpot has been won in South Dakota's own lotto game.
Schmidt usually purchases her Powerball and Dakota Cash tickets at Henderson Oil, but had no idea when she stopped there to gas up her vehicle on Tuesday that she was holding the jackpot-winning ticket from Saturday night's drawing.
"I had missed it on the news when they said there was a winner from Saturday night so I stopped there just to fill up my Expedition and check my tickets to see if I had any winners. It was pure shock to find out I had won the jackpot," Schmidt said.
She immediately called her husband, Rocky, who was just as excited as she was about the win. Schmidt said the news was already spreading by the time she got home.
"We live in a small town and there were local people in the store when I found out I'd won so the word was already around town. If I wouldn't have called my husband right away, he probably would have already known by the time I got home!" laughed Schmidt.
Schmidt and her husband, who have six children between them, plan to use a portion of the winnings to pay off some bills and then hold on to the rest for the time being. She says winning the jackpot has left her feeling both happy and fortunate.
"It still feels like a shock and not real but I'm very excited and very blessed to have won. And it feels good knowing I can pay a few bills and breathe a little easier," she said.
Now that Schmidt is a jackpot winner, will she keep playing the Lottery?
"I already have. I bought another ticket before I left the store that day. You can't win if you don't have a ticket and it's definitely been worth the money for me."
Dakota Cash is played only in South Dakota. The jackpot currently sits at $20,000 for Saturday night's drawing. The odds of winning the jackpot are 1:324,632.