June 6, 2009

Rancher hits $232 million jackpot

A South Dakota rancher whose family has known hard times says he'll use part of his $232 million Powerball jackpot to help others in need.

Neal Wanless, 23, whose family owns a 320-acre ranch near Winner, S.D., is to take home $88.5 million after taxes are deducted from the ticket he bought during a trip to buy livestock feed, KSFY, Sioux Falls, S.D. reported Saturday.

Friday's jackpot was one of the largest undivided jackpots in U.S. history, lottery officials said.

Wanless said he intends to repay many times over the help he and his family received from their community when they fell behind in taxes and had their mobile home repossessed last year.

I want to thank the Lord for giving me this opportunity and blessing me with this great fortune, Wanless said Friday. I will not squander it.

Wanless said he plans to buy a bigger ranch because, as he told his horse, Eleanor, It'd be nice if we go for a longer ride than usual on a bigger ranch of our own.