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Sioux Falls couple claims $9.13 million Hot Lotto jackpot

For Immediate Release: 7/6/2005

(Pierre) - Shirley and Luverne Vehle of Sioux Falls have claimed the third largest lotto jackpot ever awarded by the South Dakota Lottery. The couple won the June 15th Hot Lotto jackpot worth $9,130,000 and claimed their prize today in Sioux Falls.

The Vehles chose to receive their jackpot in a single cash payment. The cash value of the prize is $5,732,579. After federal tax withholding, they received a check today for $4,299,434.

Shirley discovered she held the winning ticket when she checked the numbers in the newspaper. "I saw the numbers and couldn’t believe it," she said. "I called the grocery store to ask for the winning numbers. Then I called my husband to come check the numbers."

Luverne said he told her, "You’re a millionaire!" Still, Shirley called the Lottery to check the numbers again. "Then I went into shock," she said.

While they have just come forward publicly, Shirley said they have shared their secret with some friends and family. "I think they’ve lost some sleep too," she said.

The Vehles said they are taking their time to decide how to invest their winnings. "We want to take care of our family, and we’re taking it one day at a time," Luverne said.

Shirley purchased the winning "quick pick" ticket at HyVee #2 on South Louise Avenue in Sioux Falls. The store will receive a bonus of $10,000 for selling the wining ticket.

This is the first time the top prize for the Hot Lotto game has been won in South Dakota. The game is currently played in eight lotteries: South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, New Hampshire, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

The odds of winning the jackpot are 1:10,939,383. The Hot Lotto jackpot for tonight’s drawing is $1,250,000.

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