Just about everyone has dreamed of winning the lottery at one time or another. Despite the long odds people do win and there are many stories about lottery winners who were successful and winners who lost it all. Roy and Barb Hamer of Leesburg, Indiana hit it big in September 1999. Barb described the moment when they checked their lottery ticket and said “we checked our ticket, my eyes went blank, he looked at it and said, ‘oh, my god! They all match!’” Initially there was some confusion over how much money they had won.
Barb told reporters “We thought, we’d only won ten million. We thought we were poor millionaires.” In reality the Hamers had won $41.5 million playing the Powerball lottery. Both juked and said “We’ve stayed out of jail.” It has been 13 years since the day they won the Powerball lottery. Barb and Roy survived their bug win and have stayed together. They said they still have the money which amounted to $13 million after taxes. Barb stated “We didn’t buy yachts. We bought a marina. Who needs a yacht when you have a marina?”
Barb described the present Roy bought for her and said “Roy bought me a really nice diamond. This is my toilet cleaning diamond. We bought a cigar store Indian. First thing we ever bought. We still have him.” There have been more Powerball winners in Indiana than in any other state. There are plenty of lottery games to choose from. Indiana’s top lottery retailer is the Silver Express store on West 10th Street. The store sells 50 kinds of scratch games and multi state lottery tickets. One reporter wanted to know if other lottery winners are as happy and successful as the Hamers.
The reporter took a survey and questioned 100 lottery winners in Indiana. Every lottery millionaire said that they would do it all over again if they had the chance to win. Three quarters of those surveyed said that winning a large sum of money made their lives more difficult. More money means that winners have additional responsibilities from dealing with taxes to deciding how to invest the money. The Foote family of Vincennes became instant millionaires last year when they won $2.6 million. Dwight Foote who bought the winning ticket said that his family is not living in luxury. Dwight told reporters “A lot of people don’t know the reality of the check every year. We don’t have money just sitting around to spend left and right.” As for the Hamers they said that winning the lottery changed their lifestyle but not who they are. The Hamers are now happy, and rich, people.