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Watertown 48 Claims $200,000 Powerball Prize

For Immediate Release: 3/25/2010

(PIERRE) - Representatives from the "Watertown 48" today claimed the group's $200,000 Powerball prize for the March 17, 2010 drawing at the Sioux Falls Lottery office.

Despite earlier published reports announcing the group as the winners of the game's second prize, it did not become official until today when the winning ticket was presented to the Lottery for verification and payment. It is the first time this year the $200,000 prize has been won in South Dakota.

The winning ticket was one of $48 tickets purchased by the group for the March 17, 2010 drawing. Forty-seven of the "Watertown 48" are employees at Minnesota Rubber in Watertown; the group pools their money to purchase Quick Picks for every Powerball drawing. The lucky $200,000 ticket was purchased at Roadside Gas in Watertown.

Members of the "Watertown 48" are:

Arlo Anderson of Summit; Patty Hlavacek of Florence; Jeff Janke and Barb Martenson, both of Henry; Anita Raml, Tom Raml and Dennis Sherman, all of Goodwin; Deb Ries of South Shore; Lois Selchert of Hazel; Marshall Smith and Shirley Smith, both of Clark; Alvin Spanton of Milbank; Steve Tekrony of Clear Lake; Mike Beck, Sheila Beisch, Tom Bierscheid, Ron Bublitz, Mike Ching, Bill Clark, Bill Conlon, LeRoy Cordell, Jeff Corey, Mary Decker, Darwin Fischbach, Robert Fischbach, Donna Groskreutz, Jean Harms, Wanda Henrichs, Dean Howard, Linda Jenkins, Ron Kelly, Harold Klucas, Doug Koch, Philip Kranz, Karen Liebl, Barb Mendenhall, Roger Mohr, John O'Hara, Roger Remmers, Carolyn Ronke, Paul Ruhr, Allen Schmidt, Donnie Selchert, Allen Taken, Tad Turbak, Dallas Whitlock, and Debi Wollan, all of Watertown.

Two members of the "Watertown 48"  - Allen Schmidt and Lois Selchert - were also members of the "Watertown 34", who in 2003 split $50.9 million as half of a Powerball jackpot that was shared by their group and a single ticket holder in Indiana. That win seven years ago was the first Powerball jackpot won in South Dakota.

Each member of the "Watertown 48" will receive about $3,000 after taxes from their St. Patrick's Day win. Although the same group has comprised the pool for several years, Carolyn Ronke, who serves as "treasurer" and purchases the tickets, says with the win, more people are asking about joining the pool. But the pool of players isn't likely to grow.

"We've been playing together for a long time, and we want to keep the group size at 48. So until somebody drops out, nobody new gets in," Ronke laughed.

While plans for what to do with their winnings varies from opening a quilting business to fishing and playing golf more often, none of the members plan on retiring any time soon. One thing the "Watertown 48" does agree on is that they'll keep playing Powerball.

"You can't win if you don't play," they said. And Carolyn Ronke offered other players some additional advice. "Set your dreams high because they do come true."

Powerball is played in 41 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The odds of winning the $200,000 prize are 1:5,138,133. The odds of winning the jackpot are 1:195,249,054. 

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