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Williamsport couple wins $100,000 in Powerball

July 02, 1997

By KERRY LYNN FRALEY

Staff Writer

WILLIAMSPORT - Debbie and Rodney Boward Jr. always let the computer pick the numbers they play in the Powerball lottery.

They way they figure it, if they're meant to win, they'll win.

The fact that they were one number away from winning a $5 million jackpot in the June 25 drawing hasn't changed their philosophy, said the Williamsport couple. The bonus Powerball number on their winning ticket was 17 instead of the number 16 that was drawn.

"Maybe some day the good Lord will give us that extra," said Debbie Boward, 38, who was thrilled with the $100,000 she and her husband won for having the five main numbers.

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It wasn't until four days after the drawing that the Bowards found out they had won anything.

On Sunday, Boward drove down to West Virginia with sister Denise Minnick for their weekly Powerball lottery run to the Marlowe Texaco, at Interstate 81 and U.S. 11.

"We check our tickets, and we buy new ones," said Boward, who buys between $2 and $10 worth of tickets for her and her husband each week. "It just depends how much extra money we have to put in."

They once won $50, which was a real thrill, she said.

But when the clerk inserted their June 25 tickets into the computer last Sunday, the bells started ringing, and Boward knew she'd done a lot better than that.

"I said, `What did I hit?' I thought maybe $600, $1,000," she said.

When she learned she had matched five numbers and won $100,000, she ran out of the store.

"All I could think of was calling my husband," Boward said. "I was so dumbfounded I couldn't even use my calling card. I had to call home collect."

At first, Rodney Boward thought his wife had to be teasing him.

"But I could feel it in her voice. She said, `I swear it. We hit,'" he said. "That's when my knees gave way."

Things were busy at work Monday for him to take the day off to pick up their winnings in Charleston, W.Va., said Rodney Boward, 41, who works as a painter for AC&T Company in Hagerstown.

So they left at 4:30 a.m. Tuesday, returning home exhausted but happy at around 5:30 p.m. with a jumbo-sized check for $100,000 to use for pictures.

In reality, lottery officials withheld federal tax from the real check the couple received.

Until Maryland tax officials tell them what they owe, the Bowards aren't sure how much of their $100,000 prize they'll have after taxes.

Part will definitely go toward a new gold-brown Oldsmobile - nothing fancy but nice - with power windows and door locks, Debbie Boward said.

They'll invest the rest as a cushion for their old age and to help out their four children and granddaughter, she said.

At this point, 19 states and the District of Columbia contribute to a minimum $5 million Powerball game jackpot every Wednesday and Sunday, said West Virginia Lottery spokeswoman Nancy Bulla.

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