The recent $700 million Powerball jackpot was all the reason Alana Houck of St. Charles needed to purchase Missouri Lottery tickets for the Aug. 23 drawing.
"I had played like two or three times before that, I guess, whenever it got $200 or $300 million," recalled Houck.
After purchasing her tickets from Shop 'n Save, 60 Harvester Square in St. Charles, Houck forgot about her tickets until the day after the drawing.
"They announced that someone on the east coast had won, so I didn't bother checking them," said Houck. "That night, I was reading on Facebook that the Shop 'n Save in St. Charles had a $50,000 winner, and I thought, 'Well that can't be possible.'"
Curious to see if one of her tickets contained the four white-ball numbers and the Powerball number needed to win a $50,000 prize, Houck searched for the Aug. 23 drawing numbers at MOLottery.com.
"I was at work and stepped out to check. I called my husband and said, 'You're not going to believe this.'"
Houck said she kept the ticket in her lockbox at home, and described feeling nervous about the ticket until she was able to claim the prize on Sept. 1.
"I haven't even told my kids. I told my husband that I'm not telling the kids until we take it here (Lottery offices), and we find out if this is for real," said Houck. "I mean, it's not even feeling real to me right now. I've never won anything in my life.
"I don't know when I'm going to tell my kids. Maybe when I pick up the check, I'll take a picture and send it to them," laughed Houck.
As far as plans for the $50,000 windfall, the St. Charles couple plan on saving the majority of the prize in their retirement fund.
"We might use part of it next year to go on an Alaskan cruise for our 30th anniversary," said Houck.
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