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Powerball Winner Owner of Three Construction Companies

Aired December 26, 2002 - 14:45   ET


KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Live to Charleston, West Virginia right now. Nancy Bulla with the West Virginia lottery is talking to reporters. Let's listen in and find out when we're going to meet this Powerball winner.
NANCY BULLA, WEST VIRGINIA LOTTERY: What did I just say? You guys come up here and do this. How about it? OK. Putnam County, Hurricane is the town. Scott Depot is another town, and that is where he lives. He bought the ticket in Hurricane.

He is president of three construction corporations. They do sewer and water systems for infrastructure. He is married. His wife's name is Jewel (ph). He has a daughter. Her name is Ginger (ph) and he has a granddaughter who is 15.

I asked him what he planned to do with his money. He said that he planned, first and foremost, and I mean it was hardly out of my mouth and he said he had decided to pay his tithes first. He belongs to the Church of God, and he then will share some with his family.

He wants to invest some. I imagine he has a lot to invest, and he said that he may be expanding his businesses. So clearly, he is not planning to quit work.

Told me upstairs that he had been thinking about buying a helicopter for several years and now that might be a possibility. He also told me that he was watching television and got a wrong number last night. So he thought he had four numbers right and the Powerball. That would have given him $4,000.

As a matter of fact, he found out this morning that those numbers were wrong and he was the jackpot winner of considerably more. He has opted for the -- and by the way, this is an international record. There have been larger jackpots in other areas, but this is the largest prize awarded to one individual -- a single ticket. He doesn't play all the time. He said he bought $100 in tickets, but that it's a rare thing for him. He did it because the jackpot was so very high.

Also, he has opted for the cash option. The cash option is, well, you know, it is $170 million and change. The lottery regulations for the multistate group require that it is two weeks before you get your check.

There is some -- you people have spread this rumor out there that West Virginia doesn't have enough money to pay this guy, so we have to get the multistate group to give it to us in January. I'd just like to tell you that's not true.

As a matter of fact, it is the rule that you don't get it for a couple of weeks. What we are doing is putting up front $10 million of our money so he, indeed, has something to walk away with today. And then, around January 14, we will give him the balance, probably wire it to his account. We will give him a wire transfer for the balance of his funds. That would be $170,505,876, 27 percent federal withholding, 6.5 percent for West Virginia state withholding. That means it would be an amount of $111,681,349. Ten million today, the balance in January, January 14.

Do you have any questions of me, other than his name?


BULLA: It's McClead, I believe that's how you pronounce it. It's pronounced McL -- these details that you want. You know? M -- little "C" --capital "C" -- L-E-A-D. He is 20 years old, West Virginia University, pharmacy -- prepharmacy that would be if he is 20 years old. He bought his ticket at a convenience store called Citgo, C-I-T -- capital "G" -- O.

That is in Parkersburg (ph). He lives in Vienna. His daddy came with him. Maybe he'll take him to dinner.

QUESTION: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) any plans for the next day or so?

BULLA: I don't know. You'll have to ask him. What we're going to do, and I will tell you that process. The director will be introducing our governor, Governor Bob Wise (ph). Bob Wise will introduce to you the $100,000 winner. He will introduce to you the retailer who sold the jackpot winning ticket. Then he will introduce to you the jackpot winner.

We have these oversized checks. I know you don't have microphones right down here, but that's what the governor has opted to do. He will give the oversized checks in front of this podium, and then there will be an opportunity for you to question, to your heart's content, the jackpot winner, any member of his family, back behind the podium.

Afterward -- bear in mind, we haven't had this many people cover our jackpot winners. I have some information sheets I'm going to hand out, both on the winner and some backdrops and bullet points for your information for things that have happened in West Virginia, the revenue picture, how much the jackpot is, what it is after taxes, what the taxes were, those kinds of things.

We have had eight, including today's jackpot winners, in the multistate game. Several of those have been from Powerball. The earlier ones were with Lotto America. West Virginia was one of the flagship states that helped get Lotto America off the ground back in the '80s. I think it was 1988. We really did it for a couple of reasons. One, states were having some difficulty financially. There were rumors about a national lottery and, of course, states like to have control over their own funds. So several of us, as lottery states, decided to go together and have the money that is earned in each state stay in each state to benefit the appropriations for each state, but that we would pool nationally the money for a larger jackpot. The bigger the prize, the better your sales. And in West Virginia, with fewer than 2 million people, it's very difficult to have a very large jackpot. We were finding that it was hit quickly, and then it was forever in growing up. It was rare that we had a $1 million jackpot.

So what we did is join and contributed to a jackpot fund, but we maintained control of all of the profits. The money that was earned in each state stayed in each state.

It grew from Lotto America to a change to Powerball where we had a top cash prize for those states that didn't have regular -- because of population. You know, the odds of every ticket are exactly the same. It is one of the things we've been saying that verifies this.

In a small state, often I have gotten questions about, Why are all the winners out West? Why don't we have more winners? And I've explained up until now that we have had seven, and I will reiterate them.

I've had very articulate, educated people call me and say, Well, now that there are so many people playing, how does that change the odds? Well, the odds don't change. The odds are exactly the same for every single ticket purchased, regardless of the retailer, the state from which it's purchased.

Clearly, you will hear of more winners in areas of greater population just because of the numbers of people participating. So if we had a lot of members in the multistate group, there are 25, including the Virgin Islands and including the District of Columbia. It doesn't really matter where you buy your ticket. And this...

PHILLIPS: You are listening to Nancy Bulla with the West Virginia Lottery coming to you live from Charleston, West Virginia. Probably around 3:00 Eastern time, we will -- you will finally meet the actual Powerball winner, but she's giving us a little pre- information to the big information. This is what she tells us, the winner of the Powerball, 55-years-old, married, one daughter, one granddaughter. He's the president of three construction corporations. He's planning on giving a lot of the money to his church, the Church of God, also to his family. He hopes to invest some also.

Also, been wanting to buy a helicopter. And he may be thinking about doing that now, in addition to expanding his business. He's not going to quit work, and he is going to take the cash option -- cash option, $170 million bucks and a little bit more. They are going to wire transfer it to him.


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