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Life After Lottery

By: Erin Koskovich Email
By: Erin Koskovich Email

Just about everyone has dreamed of winning the lottery. Of course, you have to play in order to win, but if you did, and won, life would be different--or would it? We caught up with some lottery winners to see just how some extra cash effects life.

The Dewey family looks like just about any other young family. Their young son Austin says, "I like to play sports!"

"I like to do my pageants," smiled their little girl Kayla.

However, a few months ago they hit a lucky break. Tina regularly plays the Badger 5 and one morning the convenience store clerk told her she'd have to make a trip to Madison to cash in her ticket. "I said, 'Why do I need to go to Madison?', 'She goes because you won more than $500 on your ticket and we can only cash out $500.' I go, 'I don't win that much money'," laughed Tina. "She goes, 'No, you won more than that'. I'm like what did I win? She goes, 'you won the jackpot'," smiled Tina.

At that point, Tina's husband, Chris, got an early morning call. "So she's like 'I won the lottery!' I'm thinking I'm dreaming because I've told her in the past that she is going to win this thing and I said how much did you win and she told me she won $94,000 and I about fell out of bed," laughed Chris.

When it was all said and done, they walked away with a check worth more than 60-thousand dollars. "We paid off our vehicles, which was nice. We paid off extra credit card bills and things like that, but really the rest has been in the bank from day one," said Tina. "Yep, because we're buying a new house eventually," added Chris.

The Dewey's say they didn't want life to change. They wanted to keep a low profile and keep the focus on their family. Something that was hard to do with so many people congratulating them and even some asking for a piece of the prize. "I can't imagine what somebody would be like if they won over a million dollars. I couldn't imagine it. For these people that win a lot more, what do they do?," said Chris.

Well, it just so happens a millionaire lives not too far from them in Stoughton. "I never actually thought I would hit the jackpot," exclaimed Patrick Nowlin.

April fool's day he checked the ticket he bought at Stoughton's Food Pantry Diamond Jubilee. "I was just kind of stunned. I put it away, looked at the paper, dug it out again, put it away, went for a walk, dug it out again, waiting for my wife to wake up," explained Nowlin.

As it turns out, he was the winner of a nearly 41 million dollar powerball jackpot. "We just want to stay the same," said Nowlin.

For that reason it took the Nowlin's two months to come forward and claim their prize. "It's just such a responsibility to have millions of dollars at your disposal. What are you going to do with that? Well, you enjoy some and you put the rest of it to work," smiled Nowlin.

Nowlin is a veteran and decided to donate a lot of money to spruce up the VFW in Stoughton. A new stone sign will soon set out front. The parking lots been re-paved and a new sidewalk makes it easier to get in and out. Yet other money went into trust funds for various charities and organizations. "We're looking forward to traveling and just enjoying and helping people out here and there," said Nowlin.

So no matter if you're a family in Janesville with a little extra cash. "We still go to work every day," Chris Dewey stated.

Or if you are a millionaire in Stoughton, money just makes life different. "Definitely changes your life and you really got to work hard at keeping your old life as normal as possible," explained Nowlin.

The Nowlin's have established a lot of trust funds for medical research, family members, and organizations. They also plan to do some more traveling.

The Dewey's from Janesville are doing a little traveling as well. However, it was a trip to California they already had planned. They just decided to fly instead of drive.


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