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NJ Couple Hits $213M Jackpot

Kristine, center left, and Steven White of Skillman, N.J., center right, the holders of the single winning Powerball ticket for the May 8 drawing, receive their ceremonial check from the Secretary of Revenue Gregory Fajt, left, and Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Lottery, Edward Mahlman in Harrisburg, Pa., Tuesday, May 18, 2004. The Whites are the winners of the largest prize in Pennsylvania lottery's history, with an annuity value of $213.2 million. (AP Photos/Daniel Shanken)
AP Photo
In what could be one of the happiest decisions they'll ever have to make, a New Jersey couple has chosen to accept a payment of just over $110 million dollars -- before taxes.

Steven and Kristine White bought the only winning ticket to the largest jackpot in Pennsylvania Lottery history.

They bought the lucky multi-state Powerball ticket in Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania -- at a convenience store not far from the spot where George Washington crossed the Delaware River in 1776.

The Whites could have selected a $213 million dollar annuity paid over 29 years, but chose a smaller, one-time payment instead.

Pure serendipity made Steven and Kristine White multimillionaires.

The Skillman, New Jersey, couple bought the only winning ticket for the largest jackpot in the 32-year history of the Pennsylvania Lottery. New Jersey doesn't participate in Powerball, so the Whites would occasionally buy Powerball tickets in New Hope when the jackpots got big. But the bridge they normally took was under construction, so they went to Washington Crossing instead.

Steven White originally planned to buy tickets only for the drawing on May Fifth, a Wednesday. But he says he was inspired to expand his bet when the customer in front of him bought three dollars in tickets for both the May Fifth and the May Eighth drawings. And the May Eighth drawing was the one he won.

Steve, 40, a vice president for sales and marketing, and Kristine, 39, a nurse, did not check their winning Powerball(R) ticket until the Monday night following the May 8 drawing.

"We went to Cumberland Farms earlier that evening to check the winning numbers from Saturday night's drawing," Steve White said. "The store manager told us the winning ticket had been sold the previous Wednesday night, which was when I bought our tickets."

The Whites had purchased a $5 quick-pick Powerball ticket for the previous Wednesday night's drawing and the same for Saturday's drawing.

"The ticket was at home, on the refrigerator; before that, it had been riding around on the sun visor in Kristine's vehicle," Steve White said. "Once we realized we had all of the winning numbers, after checking the ticket about 200 times, we checked the Pennsylvania Lottery's Web site and saw that it advised the holder of the ticket to sign the back and put it in a safe place. We immediately signed it and placed it in a safe deposit box. Then we sought financial guidance."

Powerball is played in West Virginia, 25 other states, Washington D-C and the U-S Virgin Islands

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