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Missouri Couple Wins $130 Million

A Missouri couple came forward Thursday to claim half of the $261.3 million Powerball lottery jackpot, and their spending plans were decidedly modest.

William Walkenbach, a production supervisor, said he wants to "finally get me a tractor with brakes."

Claudia Walkenbach, a substitute teacher, said she'd buy a new refrigerator to replace the 30-year-old model sitting in their kitchen in Hermann, a town of about 2,600 on the Missouri River.

Neither purchase will make a dent in the two forms of payment the Walkenbachs can choose: $130.6 million in 30 annual installments of $4.3 million, or a lump sum payment of $73.6 million. Both figures are before taxes.

But as Bill Walkenbach, 53, said Thursday: "It hasn't sunk in yet."

The couple bought their winning ticket, one of two sold nationwide, on Wednesday at the Hermann Fuel Mart in Hermann,

Claudia, 52, had $5 left after buying a copy of the Hermann Advertiser-Courier, and with the change snatched up five tickets with computer-selected numbers.

The other winning ticket was sold in Cranberry Township, Pa., about 20 miles north of Pittsburgh. No one had come forward Thursday to claim the prize there, said Nick Hays, spokesman for the state Department of Revenue.

The numbers in Wednesday night's drawing were 19-21-26-31-51 and Powerball 40.

The jackpot has surpassed $200 million four times since Powerball began in 1992. The largest jackpot was the Christmas 2002 prize of $314.9 million, won by a West Virginia contractor.

The payout was the largest in Pennsylvania Lottery history, said state lottery director Edward Mahlman, who had some advice for the winner.

"We would like them to sign that ticket immediately — to then call a trusted financial adviser and lastly, to contact the Pennsylvania Lottery."

Mahlman spoke in the parking lot of a 7-Eleven in Cranberry Township where the ticket was sold.

The store owner, Jim Lash, will get $400,000 for selling the ticket. Vendors are given one half of 1 percent of the ticket's worth, with a cap of $400,000.

Lash said his worries about paying for his children's' college education were over.

Powerball, the nation's largest lottery game, is sold in 24 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands.