Powerball jackpot

Back in the Day, July 30, 1994: Couple hits $50 million Powerball jackpot, becomes Nebraska's first winner

By Hardik Wasanwal

Hours after the Powerball drawing 28 years ago today, lottery officials used their computers to locate the $50.1 million winning ticket for Quick Stop No. 3 in North Platte, Nebraska.

Stan Tegler of Hastings, who said he was married to the sister of a potential winner, told the Hastings Tribune that Diane and Lyle Flaherty had bought winning tickets to North Platte to see their son play in a baseball tournament.

The Hastings couple, both Nebraska natives, opened a press conference at the offices of the Nebraska Lottery four days later, explaining how they see the numbers 1, 2, 8, 21, 31 and 18 on television as the Powerball numbers. Was drawn on the night of 30 July.

Flaherty scolds his wife for choosing numbers 1 and 2 on each of the five $1 tickets he bought earlier in the day. He said it was the first time he had entered the Powerball lottery, which began in Nebraska just nine days earlier, on July 21.

"Nobody picks 1 and 2," Flaherty said as he told his wife. "She told me, 'This is my ticket. I'll do what I want.'"

In the days before the press conference, Flahertis had changed his telephone number and could not be reached for comment. "I needed to get my thoughts in order," Lyle said. He said the experience has been "almost incomprehensible".

After the win, Diane Flaherty suggested they buy siding for the house, and the family joked about other needsβ€”a garage, a new driveway, a sprinkler system. Steven Celine, Flahertis' newly appointed tax and estate attorney, said Flahertis had contacted him at the Omaha offices of the Cuttack Rock law firm.

β€œNot only is Flaherty lucky,” Celine said, β€œbut the lottery is lucky that she won it. They are really nice, happy people. Lottery director Jim Quinn said the first of 20 annual payments to Flahertis -- $1,680,261.85 after taxes -- were to begin two weeks after the prize was claimed.