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Barboursville woman claims $1 million prize

Mar. 09, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Mary Carr was fixing breakfast Thursday morning as her husband, Harold, read The Herald-Dispatch. He turned to page 2A and started shaking.

Located deep on the page's left side were numbers from Wednesday night's Powerball drawing.

Harold Carr noticed the first five numbers matched his ticket and told his wife not to worry as his shaking caused concern. She finished breakfast, and that's when he revealed they had won the game's $1 million prize.

Mary Carr simply placed her hand on his shoulder and told her husband, "I don't think so."

"I was ready to walk away when he said, 'No. We really won,'" she recalled.

A quick double check of their ticket soon confirmed reality, but the Barboursville couple carried on through Thursday in disbelief. The feeling of shock was still evident Friday, moments after Mary Carr spoke to television reporters in Charleston.

The couple has frequently played the lottery for at least 30 years.

"It's just a game you think you're going to win, but you don't," she said. "It's really difficult to absorb."

Harold Carr purchased the ticket at the One Stop convenience store, located in the 1400 block of U.S. 60 near an intersection with Roby Road. Health issues prevented him from joining his wife Friday in claiming the ticket in person.

The One Stop held no special place in the couple's strategy as they typically buy tickets wherever they might be. She also described the winning purchase as a simple ticket with one set of numbers and no PowerPlay, which could have won the retirees $2 million for an extra $1.

But $1 million is plenty enough, said Mary Carr. She and her husband plan to use the money to pay bills and debt. She said they might buy a new car, but ruled out using the money to purchase a new home.

Mary Carr chose to keep many details about herself and family private. Her and her husband both are retired and have lived in the Barboursville area for 30 years or so. Some family members live locally, while some children live out of state.

Many of those family members were still in the dark Friday morning as news of the couple's newfound wealth spread.

"We didn't realize it was real," Mary Carr explained.

The Carrs' winning ticket was one of two sold in West Virginia for Wednesday night's drawing. The other was purchased at the Julian Mini-Mart in Julian, W.Va. The Gillispie family -- Chad Gillispie, Todd Gillispie and Tiffany Price -- of Julian claimed their prize on Friday afternoon.

Each store will receive $10,000 for selling the winning tickets.

It marks Cabell County's first lottery prize of $1 million since April 6, 1988, according to state lottery spokesman Randy Burnside. That's when Joyce Cook of Barboursville won $1.275 million playing Lotto America.

The Huntington and Julian tickets were among nine, $1-million winners nationwide. Each matched the drawing's first five numbers, but missed the Powerball.

Burnside estimates the winners, individually, will owe $250,000 in federal taxes and $65,000 in state taxes, netting the winners $685,000.

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