Minnesota Lottery Winners
Check out the lucky Minnesotans who have taken home the largest jackpots in the state's history.
- August 10, 2011: Thomas and Kathleen Morris of Burnsville won the $228.9 million Powerball jackpot. The couple, who had been married 38 years at the time of their win, chose the cash payment of $123,602,685.09. "It started on Monday," said Kathleen. "We met with our financial adviser and things didn't look very promising. I told Tom the only way we're going to retire is if we win the lottery." On Wednesday, they did just that.
- May 3, 2008: Paul and Sue Rosenau won the $180.1 million Powerball jackpot and selected the $88,020,951.40 cash option. The Rosenaus founded a nonprofit to find a treatment for the rare inherited condition, Krabbe disease, an incurable disorder that claimed the life of their granddaughter five years to the day before their win.
- August 7, 2013: Paul White of Ham Lake won one-third of the $448.4 million Powerball jackpot ($149.4 million cash). He split the prize with the Ocean's 16 group and Mario Scarnici, both of New Jersey. All the winners opted for the cash lump sum totalling $258,163,064.30 - $86 million each. White said he's dreamed of winning the lottery "so many times in my head." The 45-year-old engineer couldn't believe he'd won and ran around the office asking all his co-workers to check his ticket.
The divorced father-of-two said, "I feel this pressure off my shoulders; that you carry every day with you. I have some kids. Am I going to be able to pay for them to go to college? Am I going to be able to take care of them if they have health issues? All these things; you don't ever have to worry about them again. It's amazing."
- August 14, 2004: Mary Beth and David Wenell of Eden Prairie won the Powerball jackpot of $98.7 million and chose the $53,118,608.53 cash payout. "I guess I'm a dreamer. I usually fail at this - every week, actually," said David, a long-time lottery player. "It's not a bad investment. It's fun. Everybody needs to dream." After buying the ticket, David left it on the dresser while the couple headed to their cabin for the weekend. When they got back, Mary Beth checked their numbers and "I heard some exclamations downstairs," David said. Neither of them could sleep that night. The couple said at the time they would both retire and might buy a new cabin.
- October 25, 2003: The Happy Huskers, a group of 16 Holdingford school co-workers, split the $190.9 million Powerball jackpot with Regina Mandabach of Indiana. The Huskers opted for the cash lump sum of $99,530,384.74. Their win came about after each of the 16 put just 25 cents from each paycheck into their lottery pool. 15 of the winners worked in the school cafeteria and one was a custodian.
In 2017, one of the winners, Donna Lange, recalled that "I just said to them, 'None of us will have to come to work on Monday, we are going to win the lottery,' as I wrote down the numbers on a piece of scrap paper so I could take it home and check it."
The down-to-earth millionaires didn't let their overnight windfall change them. "I think of the 16, everybody is pretty much the same and I think basically a good person," said Lange. A few of the winners still work in the cafeteria serving lunch to the students.
- November 1, 2006: Michael Hawes won half of the $94.1 million Powerball jackpot, splitting it with the Arizona 9 group. The Lakeville accountant decided to receive the cash option of $$44,335,812.17. Hawes unknowingly carried his winning ticket around in his wallet for five months - even taking it to New York - until he finally scanned it and learned he'd won. He immediately walked out of the grocery store as "my eyes teared up. It was hard to breathe," he said. Amazingly, Hawes' son, who was eight months old at the time and was born six weeks early, is named Lucky.
- March 14, 2018: The Kujava family of Badger hit the $22.8 million Lotto America jackpot and chose to receive their win as a $13.5 million cash payout. Brother and sister Dennis and Debbie agreed years ago that if "one wins, we both win." After Debbie purchased the ticket on her way home from work, she checked the numbers the next morning and at first thought it was worth $2 million. She showed up at Dennis's house and told him, "We're millionaires!" Initially, Dennis wasn't sure what to believe. "Well, she does play tricks on me," he said. "But I normally wouldn't be at his house at 8 am," Debbie pointed out. Finally, Dennis's daughter Denise checked the ticket and realized what it was really worth. Debbie, Dennis, and his two adult daughters all split the $13.5 million cash lump sum.
- July 11, 2019: Jeffery Love of Elk River won the $21.6 million Lotto America jackpot after dreaming about a big win for years. "I drive by the lottery office every day on my way to work and always say, 'One day ... one day,'" Jeffery said. When he checked his ticket, he couldn't believe what he saw. He called his wife Vickie and said "'We have a situation,'" he recalled. "I didn't trust my eyes, I wanted to have Vickie look at it." Vickie checked the numbers "eight or 10 times," and it finally sunk in that the couple had really won.
- July 7, 2004: Jackie and Jim Lagoon of Stillwater hit the Powerball jackpot of $21.1 million and took the $11,143,150.45 cash option. Real estate agent Jim was golfing when his wife Jackie called him with the amazing news that they'd won the lottery. Jim continued golfing but his mind was certainly not on the game as balls flew into the water and woods. But "I can buy more golf balls," Jim smiled as the couple collected their prize.
The Lagoons' good luck was all thanks to Jackie's watch. She meant to buy a ticket for that night's Powerball draw, but her watch was a few minutes slow and she'd actually missed the cut-off time. Her ticket was entered in the next draw, resulting in the couple's big win.