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Record Lottery Winners to Travel, Maybe to Altar

October 20, 1987|Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A bookkeeper and a plasterer who live together turned in their winning $46-million lottery ticket Monday and said they would use their record jackpot to travel, help their relatives and perhaps even get married.

Donald R. Woomer and Linda K. Despot of Hollidaysburg, Pa., met with reporters after they were handed a check for the first installment, $1.4 million, by state Revenue Secretary Barton Fields.

The couple, who bought the ticket in the state's Super-7 game jointly, will receive similar payments annually for the next 25 years.

The two, who have lived together for five years, repeatedly said that they had no firm plans for the money, except to travel, possibly to see some stock car races, and to help family members. They said they expected to continue living in central Pennsylvania.

"I hope our life style changes, but not us," Despot said.

When asked if they would be getting married, Despot nodded her head and said: "It's looking good."

The jackpot surpassed by $5 million a prize of $41 million won in New York state's lottery in August, 1985, Jim Scroggins, executive director of the Pennsylvania Lottery, said. The world's largest prize, about $100 million, is offered in Spain, state lottery officials said.

Woomer, 55, who is separated but not divorced from his wife, said he did not know what legal arrangements would be worked out with her. When asked if she likely would get some of the prize, Woomer said: "I imagine so."

Despot, 37, a bookkeeper for a car dealer, said she was getting ready for work Thursday morning when the winning numbers, drawn the night before, were announced on the radio. She wrote the numbers down and Woomer, a self-employed plasterer, checked them. "He hasn't gone to work since," she said.

Woomer said the winning numbers of 06, 10, 13, 35, 55, 65 and 79 were based on Despot's recent birthday, Oct. 13, his own birthday and random selections. In addition, they had bought a second ticket, which matched five of the numbers and gave them an additional $272.

At a birthday dinner Tuesday night after Woomer had bought the tickets, Despot said, she blew out the candle on her cake. "I guess everybody knew what I wished for," she said.

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