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South Dakotan enters final lap of NASCAR Powerball Playoff

The NASCAR Playoff is entering its culmination, and one South Dakotan is hoping it brings a championship-worthy prize.

Barbara Wipf of Sioux Falls is one of four finalists in the inaugural NASCAR Powerball Playoff. Wipf and finalists from Mississippi, New Mexico and Indiana won a VIP trip for two to NASCAR Championship Weekend™ at Phoenix Raceway, Nov. 3-5, and entry into the $1 million drawing.

Wipf and her husband Keith have both been avid NASCAR fans for more than 25 years, which makes her upcoming trip to Phoenix a bucket list experience.

“We have never been to a live NASCAR race,” Wipf said. “We’re looking forward to this. I think it will be a lot of fun. However this plays out, I think (the trip) will be the highlight of the whole thing.”

Of course, Wipf’s trip to The Valley will entail much more than cheering on her favorite driver Brad Keselowski. With a 1 in 4 chance of winning $1 million, Wipf can’t help but think about the dream of returning to South Dakota with the ultimate prize.

“It will be life changing. We’ll make some changes now, and some changes for the future,” Wipf said. “A family trip with our two sons, daughters-in-law, and grandkids would be pretty awesome to come out of that too. That’s our plan.”

Wipf’s journey began throughout the course of the summer months when she entered a non-winning ticket into the NASCAR Powerball Playoff. Wipf and nine other winners from the South Dakota Lottery’s Players Club were entered into a nationwide drawing to determine 16 semi-finalists.

The 16 semi-finalists were randomly selected from the national pool to compete in a series of elimination drawings that mirror the elimination rounds of the NASCAR Playoffs, with cash prizes awarded to all 16 semi-finalists based on their elimination position.

As the elimination rounds continued, Wipf’s anticipation only grew. After the South Dakota Lottery alerted her that she was a finalist, she couldn’t wait to share the news.

“I kind of screamed and then I realized ‘Oh my gosh I’m in the house by myself. This is not good. I have to tell somebody this!’” Wipf said. “My husband was out mowing the yard, and he heard me screaming in the yard.”

While Wipf met the good news with jubilation, she has had time to let the experience sink in. She noted that the nature of the promotion played a part in the excitement, and she hopes that only continues next week.

“I try to maintain composure with this along the way. It’s amazing, and it’s been a rollercoaster,” Wipf said. “I always look forward to your calls telling me if we were eliminated or if we were still in it to win it. That’s been our little catchphrase since we started this, so hopefully, we do.”

Wipf is also excited to represent South Dakota on the national stage. She noted that she and her husband plan to wear South Dakota branded clothing, so the national audience knows where they’re from.

The drawing for $1 million will be broadcast live on NBC during pre-race coverage of the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series Championship Race on Sunday, Nov. 5 starting at 1 p.m. CST.

While this year’s NASCAR Powerball Playoff is winding down, the South Dakota Lottery’s Players Club still has plenty of second chance opportunities for its members. As someone whose non-winning ticket proved to be an ultimate winner, Wipf left a piece of advice for her fellow players.

“Keep playing, take the time to enter your tickets,” Wipf said. “We don’t say losers. Your non-winning tickets, enter them. Because it only takes one.”

NASCAR® is a registered trademark of the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, LLC. Copyright ©2023 National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, LLC. All Rights Reserved. NASCAR®, LLC is not a sponsor of this promotion.

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