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Lotto win came just in time

December 11, 1998|By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

Four years before they won $5.7 million in the Maryland Lotto in 1995, Harold and Shurl Bussard of Hagerstown had hit rock bottom.

A former plumber, Harold Bussard, now 62, was disabled with a heart problem and unable to work.

The couple lived on government assistance and the minimum wage Shurl Bussard made working at her sister's pet supply business, Cosmic Pet.

The couple had filed for bankruptcy, and Shurl Bussard needed a hernia operation they could not afford.

With no insurance, she had been making advance payments to the doctor in order to have the surgery, she said.

Despite the tough times, Shurl Bussard said she never lost her faith and felt rewarded when she won the $5.7 million.

"It was a blessing," she said.

Shurl Bussard is a Hagerstown native, and Harold Bussard grew up in Keedysville before moving to Michigan. They have two grown children.

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After winning the lottery, which pays them an annual $187,050 after taxes, they moved from a small rented home on East Avenue to a 13-room house on Cathedral Avenue, she said.

"I lived in a small row home all my life, and now this," she said.

She blames delinquent child support claims from the State of Michigan on a computer glitch, and said she does not believes that Nancy Bussard, her husband's former wife, initiated the matter.

"I think she's telling the truth," she said.

Shurl Bussard said she tried to settle the matter with state and lottery officials by telephone but was unsuccessful.

It was then that she and her husband decided to take legal action. Shurl Bussard said she is hopeful the problem can be resolved so she and Harold can get back to enjoying their retirement and their winnings.




related story: Lotto winners sue state

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