(PIERRE) - Larry Abernathy of Chamberlain today claimed his $98,716 Dakota Cash jackpot for the May 12, 2010 drawing at the Pierre Lottery office.
He purchased the Quick Pick ticket at Casey's General Store in Chamberlain. The store will receive a bonus of just under $5,000 for selling the winning ticket. Abernathy is a regular customer at Casey's, and generally buys a ticket for each of the state's four lotto games for both weekly drawings.
Abernathy first suspected he had a winning ticket when he checked his numbers against the Lottery website Thursday morning; a quick trip to the store confirmed it.
"I ran the ticket under the checker at Casey's and it gave me a 'see the Lottery' message. Mary (the store manager) said 'you must have won' and she checked it on her terminal to make sure," Abernathy said.
Taking the win in stride, Abernathy went about his business as usual after learning he'd won the jackpot, doing some routine work at his apartments before heading home. His employee at the apartment complex actually heard the news from Larry before Arlys, his wife of 50 years, did.
"My employee said to me 'did you hear somebody in Chamberlain won the jackpot?' and I said 'yeah, you're looking at him'," said Abernathy.
However, his wife wasn't as easy to convince when he finally broke the news to her.
"I thought he was giving me a line," Arlys Abernathy said. "I told him I had to see it to believe it. So he showed me the print out Mary had given him with the winning numbers circled."
The Abernathys own the Happy Campers Campground in Chamberlain and plan to use some of their winnings (which amounted to $74,037 after taxes) to make some planned additions to the campground, including more sites and some storage units. They also have a grown son and six-year-old granddaughter. Their first stop after leaving the Lottery office was to be their son's home to tell him the good news.
"I think the best part about winning will be when we tell our boy and see what he thinks," Larry said. Arlys added with a laugh, "Our son buys lottery tickets, too, always hoping that he'll win. He might be wishing that he'd won the jackpot!"
Larry Abernathy plans to continue playing Dakota Cash and the other lotto games, saying, "If you don't play, you're not going to win."
Dakota Cash is played only in South Dakota. The odds of winning the jackpot are 1:324,632. The jackpot starts again at $20,000 for the next drawing on Sat., May 15, 2010.