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$21 Million Jackpot Claimed

March 8, 1988

CLEVELAND (AP) _ The winner of a $21 million Ohio Lottery prize said he doesn’t feel any richer yet, and he hopes the money won’t change his family life.

Richard Couchot, 49, of Ashland, Ky., turned in his winning ticket for validation Monday at the lottery’s Columbus office, lottery spokeswoman Anne Bloomberg said.

She confirmed that Couchet won Wednesday’s ″Super Lotto″ drawing and will receive $21 million in 20 annual payments of $1.05 million, or $840,000 after federal withholding tax.

″I hope that we use the money wisely and that it doesn’t change our friends and our children,″ Couchot said in a telephone interview late Monday before flying here for a news conference.

″Money shouldn’t change your life,″ he said. ″We’re very rich right now. It’s been tough putting three kids through college and we’ve got one more to go.″

He said he was calm after learning that he won the lottery prize.

″I don’t have any more today than yesterday,″ he said. ″The reaction may come after you receive the money.″

His wife, Katharine, said: ″It’s hard to believe. For five days I’ve been weak and trembling. I can hardly believe it.″

Mrs. Couchot, 48, said her husband is vice president of Ashland Financial Services and plans to continue working at least until a replacement is found.

Mrs. Couchot said she and her husband grew up in Piqua, near Dayton, Ohio, but have lived in Ashland, just across the Ohio River from southeastern Ohio, for about 18 years.

The Couchots are the second biggest winners of the Ohio Lottery after an Indiana couple who won $25 million with one ticket in April 1986.

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