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Two Lay Claim to $46-Million Record Jackpot

October 19, 1987|United Press International

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A self-employed plasterer and a secretary came forward today with the only jackpot ticket in the richest lottery drawing ever in North America and received their first installment of the $46-million prize.

At a news conference, Donald Woomer Sr., 55, and Linda Despot, 37, were presented with the first of 26 annual checks for $1,770,778. After a mandatory 20% withholding for federal taxes, the initial payment totaled $1,416,622.

Woomer said the couple felt "super," and he and Despot gave a thumbs-up sign to reporters. The two date each other, according to an associate of Despot.

Despot said she discovered the winning ticket Thursday morning, the day after the drawing in the Super 7 game.

She said she told Woomer, "You better check these. You might not have to go to work today."

"He checked them and he hasn't been at work since," she said.

The couple used birth dates and randomly selected numbers to pick the winning combination, lottery officials said.

Woomer bought the ticket last Tuesday, which was Despot's birthday, officials said. The winning ticket was validated this morning.

Woomer is a self-employed plasterer. Despot, a secretary at a Ford dealership in Hollidaysburg, the central Pennsylvania town where the couple live, called in sick today.

"Must be sick on account of money . . . or thinking how to spend it," a spokeswoman said.

Despot has a teen-age daughter, she said.

The $46-million jackpot in the Super 7 game was a North American record. The single jackpot ticket also was the most valuable ticket in North American lottery history.

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