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$94,000 Nebraska Pick 5 winning lottery ticket purchased from Hy-Vee gas in Columbus

February 21, 2019

Some lucky person, very possibly from Columbus, could soon be walking away with a hefty chunk of change.

Early Wednesday, it was announced that a winning $94,000 Nebraska Pick 5 ticket for the Tuesday, Feb. 19 drawing, was purchased at Hy-Vee Gas, 3012 23rd St., in Columbus.

The Nebraska Lottery through a released statement confirmed that one ticket sold for Tuesday’s Nebraska Pick 5 draw matched all five winning numbers for the jackpot. The winning numbers from Tuesday’s Nebraska Pick 5 draw were 07, 17, 24, 25, 28. Players are encouraged to check their tickets at any Nebraska Lottery retailer, online at nelottery.com, or by calling the Lottery office at 402-471-6100.

Hy-Vee gas employee Patrice Wielgus said murmurs of the winning numbers caused a bit of stir in the store throughout the day Wednesday. In her more than four-year tenure at the station, she said that to the best of her knowledge there hasn’t been a drawn lottery ticket carrying such a hefty value.

And, she added, lots of people daily make their way up to her counter to try their luck. The fact that someone – should they cash in – hit it big in Columbus has been fun for Wielgus.

“It’s certainly made the day interesting,” Wielgus said. “Given us some good conversation.”

The person in possession of this ticket, though, should certainly be proactive about cashing in – there is a closing window to collect.

Winning Nebraska Lottery Lotto tickets expire 180 days after the drawing, released information from the Nebraska Lottery says. Prizes of $20,000 or more must be claimed in person at Lottery headquarters in Lincoln. Additional information about claiming prizes can be found at the Nebraska Lottery website, nelottery.com or by calling 800-587-5200.

Nebraska Pick 5 is Nebraska’s unique Lottery game: all the proceeds from Nebraska Pick 5 stay in Nebraska, and all the winning tickets are sold in Nebraska at Nebraska Lottery Lotto game retailers. The odds of winning the Nebraska Pick 5 jackpot, which starts at $50,000 and grows by $4,000 each drawing that it is not won, are one in 501,942. The overall odds of winning any Nebraska Pick 5 prize which has drawings seven nights a week are one in eight.

The mission of the Nebraska Lottery is to generate proceeds for good causes while providing quality entertainment options to Nebraskans. Over $717 million has been raised for the Nebraska Lottery’s beneficiary funds since the Lottery began in 1993. All 93 counties in Nebraska have benefited from projects funded with these Nebraska Lottery proceeds, according to released information.

Neil Watson of the Nebraska Lottery said that as of Wednesday afternoon nobody had claimed the ticket. He noted, however, that there is oftentimes a delay on winners collecting their money.

“Absolutely,” he said of whether a delay is typical. “It really just depends with people. It might be a case that somebody hasn’t come back to the store to buy their next round of tickets, or they just haven’t checked their numbers yet.”

He added that ticket numbers can be checked manually or by using a Check-a-Ticket machine that will automatically say whether the ticket is a winner or not.

Upon collection, the winning ticket undergoes a 24-percent federal and 5-percent state tax. The winner will walk away with $66,740. Watson said that is actually on the low end for a Pick 5 win.

“The jackpot for Pick 5 starts at $50,000, so this actually on the lower end for a jackpot,” he said. “But, it’s still a great prize so I’m sure they would be really happy to claim it.”

Sam Pimper is the news editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at sam.pimper@lee.net.