Gretna abuzz over news of winner in $122M Powerball jackpot -
Published Friday, December 13, 2013 at 12:00 am / Updated at 1:58 pm
Gretna abuzz over news of winner in $122M Powerball jackpot

Who won it?

That was the million dollar — ahem, multimillion dollar — question Thursday buzzing around Gretna, where someone bought the latest winning Powerball ticket.

The $122 million Powerball ticket was sold Wednesday at Gretna’s Speedee Mart, a convenience store in the Sarpy County suburb.

The winner will split the prize with someone on the East Coast, where a second winning jackpot ticket was sold.

Speedee Mart owners Dave and Theresa Gulizia learned early Thursday that their store sold the ticket.

The winner had not come forward by Friday morning, lottery officials said at a press conference at the convenience store.

That didn’t stop folks around town from speculating on who it could be.

“I wonder who it is,” said Speedee Mart customer Terese Croghan, who stopped in Thursday to check her Mega Millions tickets. “It’s just so exciting.”

Added Dave Gulizia, “Hopefully it’s someone here in Gretna.”

Early indications pointed toward the winner being a working mother from Gretna who lives in a modest split-level home. Calls to the presumed winner weren’t immediately returned.

The winning numbers for Wednesday’s drawing were 1-10-13-18-19, and the Powerball number was 27. The winner will share the jackpot with someone who bought the other winning ticket in Massachusetts.

In a press release, the Nebraska Lottery recommended that the owner of the winning ticket sign the back immediately and contact the Nebraska Lottery office at 402-471-6100.

This is only the 10th Powerball jackpot won in Nebraska since the Nebraska Lottery began offering Powerball in 1994.

It’s been eight years since a Powerball jackpot was won in Nebraska, when a group of eight co-workers at the ConAgra Foods ham and corned beef plant in Lincoln split a $365 million prize.

At the Speedee Mart, which is located on Highway 6 as it runs through Gretna, the Gulizias and customers were all smiles.

Regulars filed in for their morning jolt of caffeine. Others stopped to check whether their lottery tickets were winners. Some hadn’t yet heard the news.

“We sold the big one last night!” Dave Gulizia told one customer.

“You did? You’re kiddin’ me!” the customer replied.

Just 74 Powerball tickets were sold at the store Wednesday — a low number, Dave Gulizia said. Theresa Gulizia said lottery officials said it was sold at 1:24 p.m.

Part-time clerk Wendy Toogood, who sold the winning ticket, arrived at the store early Thursday to shrieks of joy from the store’s owners.

When asked whether she knew who won, Toogood replied, “I hope it’s the guy who said he’s going to buy me a car.”

She later added, “Selling it is almost as exciting as winning it.”

The store will get $50,000 for selling the winning ticket. The Gulizias plan to put the money in the bank and invest it back into the gas station.

Before Wednesday, the highest winning ticket sold at the store was a $450 Pick 5 ticket through Powerball, Dave Gulizia said.

“You always think about winning it,” he said, “and you know the odds are completely against you.”

Theresa Gulizia said that selling the ticket is an early Christmas present just as much for the gas station as it is for the actual winner.

“It pays off to be a business owner for 365 days a year!” she said.

Contact the writer: Emily Nohr    |   402-444-1192    |  

Emily covers Papillion, La Vista, Gretna and Springfield, as well as metro-area roads.

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