FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Dec. 31, 2009 Happy New Year for New AlbanyFamily After Winning $5 Million INDIANAPOLIS – A New Albany family is going to celebrate the new year in style with an additional $5 million. Today, widowed grandmother Phyllis Stonecipher, 75, and her granddaughter Delores Wheeler claimed a $5 million jackpot from the Wednesday, Dec. 30 Hoosier Lotto drawing.    "I checked our numbers on the television this morning when I woke up," said Stonecipher. "And I said 'I think I won the Lotto!' It's sinking in but it doesn't feel true."  The winning numbers from Dec. 30 draw were: 1-4-23-33-40-45.  Stonecipher and her granddaughter, Delores, play Hoosier Lotto and Powerball frequently and whenever one of them wins, they split the winnings with each other. Stonecipher called her granddaughter into the room to tell her that together they won the Hoosier Lotto jackpot. Wheeler thought her grandmother was joking after looking at the numbers.   "I couldn't believe it," said Wheeler. "I thought she was fooling me. I was excited but still had to go to work."   Wheeler works at Walmart in Clarksville and is a department manager there.   "I had so much work to do," said Wheeler. "It was a disaster when I left the night before and I didn't want to leave it with a mess."   Meanwhile, Stonecipher and her grandson-in-law, Robert Wheeler (Delores' husband), headed to the Hoosier Lottery Jeffersonville office to claim their money, but after Lottery staff verified the ticket was a winner, they informed them that with a jackpot win the family had to head to Indianapolis to claim their prize. Prizes of $50,000 or more must be claimed at Hoosier Lottery Headquarters in Indianapolis.   "After my husband [Robert Wheeler] called to tell me that it was true we were winners, I asked my boss if I could leave to head to Indianapolis because we won the Lotto," said Wheeler. "He asked me why I was still there if it was true. He told me not to forget about him or my co-workers after we claimed our money." Stonecipher and Wheeler elected to take the cash option and received approximately $1.9 million before taxes. They split the prize evenly.   Stonecipher purchased the winning ticket from SAV-A-STEP Food Mart #42 located at 3010 St. Joseph Rd in New Albany. The retailer will receive a $50,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket (1 percent of $5,000,000 capped at $100,000).   "We buy our tickets every Wednesday and Saturday," said Stonecipher. "And we'll still keep playing!"   "It's so much fun to play," said Robert Wheeler.   Stonecipher is the mother to six children, grandmother to 25 and great grandmother to 35+ great grandchildren.   "I think we might actually go out tonight for New Years," said Wheeler.   "I'll babysit so you two can go out," said Stonecipher to her granddaughter.   Both families plan to pay off their bills and finish construction on their homes with their new winnings. The first Hoosier Lotto jackpot of the new year, Saturday, Jan. 2, 2010, is $1 million. The Hoosier Lottery reminds all players to please play responsibly. # # #Photo 1: Phyllis Stonecipher smiling with her granddaughter Delores WheelerPhoto 2: Delores Wheeler and Phyllis Stonecipher with Hoosier Lottery Executive Director Kathryn A. DensbornPhoto 3: Winner Phyllis Stonecipher with her son John Stonecipher, granddaughter Delores Wheeler and Delores' husband Robert WheelerIn compliance with Indiana Code 4-30-16, the State Lottery Commission of Indiana transfers all surplus revenue to the Treasurer of the State of Indiana. Annually, the Treasurer of the State deposits it in the following manner: $30 million goes to the Teachers' Retirement Fund; $30 million goes to Pension Relief Fund to help pay for the retirement benefits of police officers and fire fighters; The remainder goes to the Build Indiana Fund where it is used to reduce motor vehicle excise taxes keeping Hoosiers' license plate costs down.
 

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