Baldwin City couple win more than $500,000 from the Kansas Lottery
photo by: Photo courtesy of Kansas Lottery
Story updated 3:23 p.m. Friday:
For three days this week, Baldwin City residents Donna and Alan Gardner were half a million dollars richer without knowing it.
The Gardners won $528,417 from the Kansas Lottery on Wednesday after purchasing a Super Kansas Cash ticket for the Saturday, Feb. 8, drawing, according to a news release from the lottery. But Donna, who buys a lottery ticket every week, said she forgot to check the winning numbers until a few days after the drawing.
When she did, she said, she was so confused and excited that she checked the numbers 15 more times.
“I just kept thinking that something has to be wrong here. When I looked at (the website), I thought I had won $100,000. I was ecstatic about that,” Donna told the Journal-World via phone. “I thought, ‘That is a lot of money!'”
When Donna learned that they’d won, Alan was still at work, so she waited 30 minutes before giving in and telling him the news over the phone. She said Alan didn’t believe her until she read him back the numbers: 5, 7, 10, 21, 22 and Super Cash Ball 22.
Alan checked them for himself and he realized they’d won more than Donna originally thought — the jackpot for those numbers was almost $530,000.
“We looked at it, and sure enough it was 528,417 bucks.” Donna said. “I won’t forget (that number). I won’t forget the lottery numbers, either. That was exciting!”
The Gardners are currently meeting with financial advisers to help them manage their newfound wealth. Donna said that after taxes, she and Alan will have about $375,000 to do with as they please. They plan on putting 2/3 of the winnings into their savings account and using the rest for vacations, home improvements, purchasing a new truck and other family expenses.
“After we pay off the bills, which we don’t have many … I don’t really even know what to do with Alan’s income,” Donna said. “I just have never had this much money, you know. It is kind of a lot of work thinking about it.
“I mean, what are you going to do with it all? I honestly don’t know. But we are going to find out.”
Word of the couple’s lottery win has spread quickly in Baldwin City, Donna said.
“We told one woman at the Kwik Shop when we checked the tickets, and now everybody in town knows it,” Donna said. “It’s a small town. She must have told everybody who came in there.”
This wasn’t the only lottery the Gardners have won. In 2017, Alan was among eight Kansas Lottery players to win a Kansas City Chiefs game package that included a penthouse suite stay at Arrowhead Stadium, a pregame stadium tour and VIP tickets to various events.
Donna says “heck yeah” she will continue playing the lottery each week.
The Kwik Shop in Baldwin City, located at 522 Ames St., is eligible for a $1,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket, the lottery said.