Topeka — When Lori Boyle stopped Wednesday to get gas and check on a lottery ticket, she had no idea she would walk out of the store a multimillionaire.
The 42-year-old mother of two daughters, ages 19 and 13, had bought the Hot Lotto ticket July 4 in her hometown of Independence, but had kept the ticket in her purse without realizing the $12.9 million jackpot had been hit in Kansas.
"I'm too busy to watch television much, and I usually only look at the newspaper to see who died and who had a baby," she said.
Boyle said she and her boyfriend, Keith Hofstrom, had gone to a wedding in Tulsa, Okla., over the weekend and bought $20 worth of Powerball tickets, hoping to win on Saturday - 7-7-07 - considered by many to be among the luckiest of days because the date has three sevens.
"All the time we were trying to get lucky, I had a ticket in my purse worth 12 million," she said at a news conference at the Kansas Lottery headquarters.
Boyle said she hasn't decided whether to take her money in 25 payments of $361,199.83 after state and federal taxes are paid or a lump sum payout of $5,186,671.70 after taxes. She said she will meet with a financial adviser to decide which option is best for her.
"We'll probably buy a new home, pay off the bills and take care of the parents," she said, adding that her oldest daughter already has asked for a new car.
She has worked for 23 years at Prestige Cabinets in Neodesha and her boyfriend's a manager of an auto parts store in Owasso, Okla. Boyle said she plans to remain in Independence because her family is there and her children are in school.
Boyle said she called her boss and told her she wouldn't be at work Wednesday, but would be back today although she doesn't plan to continue working.
"Probably just a couple of weeks. I've got other things to do," she said. "We both love our jobs, so how do you leave? I think we'll manage."
Boyle said she and Hofstrom have been dating for two years.
"I knew he was a good luck charm," she said, adding she's only played Hot Lotto three or four times before.
Asked if she planned to share the money with Hofstrom, she said with a laugh, "It's my money and he can just hang around me."
"I'm good with that," he replied.
Her winning is the first time the Hot Lotto jackpot has been hit in Kansas and is the second-highest payout in the game's five-year history. The biggest payout was $19 million in Iowa in January. Kansas joined the Hot Lotto game in March 2006.