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Cowboy who won $232 million lottery known as ‘good kid’

WINNER, South Dakota (CNN) — Neal Wanless, a down-on-his luck cowboy before winning a $232 million Powerball jackpot last month, was always known for his big heart even when he barely had a dime to his name.

Neal Wanless, winner of the $232 million lottery in South Dakota, shown here in a high school yearbook.

Now, with his good fortune, neighbors and former teachers worry that he might be easily separated from his new-found money, although he doesn’t seem to be around to give any of it away.

“I just hope he doesn’t get inundated,” his former English teacher Deana Brodkorb told CNN. “He’s just such a nice guy and I hope he doesn’t get suckered.”

Flip through the yearbook at Todd County High School and the portrait emerges of the “good kid” that teachers and classmates remember.

Wanless ran cross-country, played in the band and graduated second in his class — the 2004 Salutatorian.

Diane Linster, his math teacher, remembers Wanless coming early to school and staying late to pump up his grades.

“Just a very humble, kind and considerate kid,” Linster said. Watch friends and neighbors describe the lucky cowboy »

Chris Leneaugh, once an assistant cross-county coach, remembers a dedication to running that propelled Wanless from the middle of the pack to near the front of the team by his senior year.

“Neal never gave up trying,” Leneaugh said. “That’s what I liked about him, his dedication.”

The yearbook also tells the tale of a hat-wearing rancher who was one of a few white students in a school filled with Native Americans — Lakota Sioux from the Rosebud Indian Reservation.

“Oh man, he was always cowboyed up,” said former classmate Mike Prue. “We are all Natives around here and there he was with his Wrangler shirt and jeans. He really stuck out.”

Prue and his buddy Steve Plank said Wanless would help them with their homework, despite the differences.

The story of the Wanless family is the story of a family doing muscle-aching work just to scratch out a living. It’s the story of a family that needed a break.

Wanless and his parents had recently moved into a camper on their ranch, after losing their home to foreclosure, according to neighbor Erv Figert.

A sign with chipped off green lettering sits in the grass at the entrance to the Wanless property.

“There was a sign out there that said ‘the ranch that God built,’ ” said Joe Prue, father of Mike Prue. “And for a while there you thought, where was God when everything was coming apart. And now, maybe God helped them.”

Neighbors say they have not seen anyone come or go from the Wanless Ranch after Neal briefly emerged at a press conference last week to accept a giant-sized check from the May 27 drawing. For now, the gate to the Wanless ranch is held tight by a new lock, linking a rusted-brown chain.

Rumors travel through the green fields of South Dakota faster than the Internet. Talk is cheap with millions of dollars to loosen the tongues. Many believe the Wanless family is going to buy a place up north, maybe by Pierre, but the cowboy with the big heart isn’t talking.

“That grin you saw on his face on television (when Wanless accepted the check) is always there,” said Linster. “He always looked like he was probably up to something.”

Now he has the money to do something about it.

Neal Wanless, a down-on-his luck cowboy before winning a $232 million Powerball jackpot last month, was always known for his big heart even when he barely had a dime to his name.

South Dakota Powerball Numbers

South Dakota was one of the original states to offer Powerball when the game launched and has produced several big winners, including the man who landed $232 million in 2009 after buying his ticket in a town called Winner. Since 1990, over $2.5 billion has been raised to support good causes in the state. View the SD Powerball numbers below.

Winning Numbers

  • 17
  • 33
  • 35
  • 42
  • 52
  • 9
  • 3

Over the past five draws, South Dakota has had an average of 6,610 winners per draw, meaning the total winners for Wednesday’s Powerball draw is around 79.94% lower than average.

Match SD Winners Prize Per Winner SD Prize Fund
5 + PB 0 $20,000,000 No Winners
5 0 $1,000,000 No Winners
4 + PB 0 $50,000 No Winners
4 1 $100 $100
3 + PB 2 $100 $200
3 40 $7 $280
2 + PB 28 $7 $196
1 + PB 245 $4 $980
0 + PB 565 $4 $2,260
5 (Power Play) 0 $2,000,000 No Winners
4 + PB (Power Play) 0 $150,000 No Winners
4 (Power Play) 0 $300 No Winners
3 + PB (Power Play) 1 $300 $300
3 (Power Play) 10 $21 $210
2 + PB (Power Play) 18 $21 $378
1 + PB (Power Play) 109 $12 $1,308
0 + PB (Power Play) 307 $12 $3,684
  • How to Play
  • How to Claim
  • South Dakota Winners

Past Results

You can find more South Dakota Powerball results below. Select the ‘+ View Payouts’ button to view a full breakdown of the prizes won in each draw.

  • 5
  • 8
  • 17
  • 27
  • 28
  • 14
  • 3

Match SD Winners Prize Per Winner SD Prize Fund
5 + 1 0 $23,200,000 No Winners
5 0 $1,000,000 No Winners
4 + 1 0 $50,000 No Winners
4 2 $100 $200
3 + 1 1 $100 $100
3 128 $7 $896
2 + 1 53 $7 $371
1 + 1 422 $4 $1,688
0 + 1 888 $4 $3,552
5 (Power Play) 0 $2,000,000 No Winners
4 + 1 (Power Play) 0 $150,000 No Winners
4 (Power Play) 2 $300 $600
3 + 1 (Power Play) 1 $300 $300
3 (Power Play) 43 $21 $903
2 + 1 (Power Play) 29 $21 $609
1 + 1 (Power Play) 224 $12 $2,688
0 + 1 (Power Play) 449 $12 $5,388
  • 40
  • 53
  • 60
  • 68
  • 69
  • 22
  • 3

Match SD Winners Prize Per Winner SD Prize Fund
5 + 1 0 $731,100,000 No Winners
5 0 $1,000,000 No Winners
4 + 1 0 $50,000 No Winners
4 5 $100 $500
3 + 1 17 $100 $1,700
3 342 $7 $2,394
2 + 1 311 $7 $2,177
1 + 1 2,238 $4 $8,952
0 + 1 5,519 $4 $22,076
5 (Power Play) 0 $2,000,000 No Winners
4 + 1 (Power Play) 0 $150,000 No Winners
4 (Power Play) 1 $300 $300
3 + 1 (Power Play) 5 $300 $1,500
3 (Power Play) 141 $21 $2,961
2 + 1 (Power Play) 103 $21 $2,163
1 + 1 (Power Play) 848 $12 $10,176
0 + 1 (Power Play) 2,206 $12 $26,472
  • 14
  • 20
  • 39
  • 65
  • 67
  • 2
  • 3

Match SD Winners Prize Per Winner SD Prize Fund
5 + 1 0 $639,400,000 No Winners
5 0 $1,000,000 No Winners
4 + 1 0 $50,000 No Winners
4 7 $100 $700
3 + 1 11 $100 $1,100
3 311 $7 $2,177
2 + 1 237 $7 $1,659
1 + 1 1,899 $4 $7,596
0 + 1 4,625 $4 $18,500
5 (Power Play) 0 $2,000,000 No Winners
4 + 1 (Power Play) 1 $150,000 $150,000
4 (Power Play) 2 $300 $600
3 + 1 (Power Play) 4 $300 $1,200
3 (Power Play) 120 $21 $2,520
2 + 1 (Power Play) 110 $21 $2,310
1 + 1 (Power Play) 706 $12 $8,472
0 + 1 (Power Play) 1,859 $12 $22,308
  • 4
  • 19
  • 23
  • 25
  • 49
  • 14
  • 2

Match SD Winners Prize Per Winner SD Prize Fund
5 + 1 0 $556,700,000 No Winners
5 0 $1,000,000 No Winners
4 + 1 0 $50,000 No Winners
4 5 $100 $500
3 + 1 8 $100 $800
3 286 $7 $2,002
2 + 1 206 $7 $1,442
1 + 1 1,495 $4 $5,980
0 + 1 3,586 $4 $14,344
5 (Power Play) 0 $2,000,000 No Winners
4 + 1 (Power Play) 0 $100,000 No Winners
4 (Power Play) 1 $200 $200
3 + 1 (Power Play) 5 $200 $1,000
3 (Power Play) 124 $14 $1,736
2 + 1 (Power Play) 85 $14 $1,190
1 + 1 (Power Play) 636 $8 $5,088
0 + 1 (Power Play) 1,420 $8 $11,360

South Dakota Powerball Rules

You play Powerball the same way in South Dakota as you do in other states, by selecting five main numbers from 1 to 69 and a Powerball between 1 and 26, then deciding whether to add Power Play to your ticket. However, there are certain conditions to playing in South Dakota that may differ to other jurisdictions.

  • The minimum age to play is 18.
  • You can play up to nine consecutive draws in advance.
  • You must buy your tickets before the deadline of 9:00pm CT (10:00pm ET) on draw days.
  • There is no state tax on Powerball winnings.

You can claim prizes of $100 or less by visiting a licensed retailer, but any award of $101 or more must be collected from one of the lottery’s regional offices. Alternatively, you can claim your prize by mail by completing a claim form and sending it off to the main office in Pierre, along with your winning ticket. The money should be paid out in seven to 10 days. If you win the jackpot, you must present your ticket to the lottery office in Pierre.

The location of the main office is as follows. Opening hours are 08:00-17:00 CT (09:00-18:00 ET) from Mondays to Fridays.

711 E.Wells Ave
Pierre, SD 57501
Phone: (605) 773-5786

There are also two other regional offices where you can claim non-jackpot prizes in excess of $100. The addresses are shown below.

Location Address Telephone Number Opening Times
Sioux Falls 3605 S. Western Ave., Suite B
Sioux Falls, SD 57105
(605) 367-5840 8:00am-5:00pm CT Monday-Friday
Rapid City 1000 Cambell Street, Suite 2
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 394-5106 12:00pm-4:00pm MT Monday-Friday

You must claim your prize within 180 days of the draw taking place if you have purchased a winning Powerball ticket in South Dakota.

You cannot claim a prize without a winning ticket and should sign the back of any entry to prove that it belongs to you. Any ticket you do present will need to meet all the necessary requirements for validation, so you may not be paid out if it is damaged.

If you win a big prize in the Mount Rushmore State, it is a matter of public record and you cannot remain anonymous. This is to maintain the transparency of the game so that fellow South Dakotans can see who has won.

As well as paying out prizes, covering the operational costs of running the lottery and giving retailers a five percent commission on every Powerball ticket sold, the South Dakota Lottery supports good causes throughout the state.

Three-quarters of the state lottery’s net income goes to the Capital Construction Fund, while the remainder is given to the General Fund. The Capital Construction Fund sets aside money for various specific programs, such as the Water & Environment Fund, the Ethanol Fuel Fund and the State Highway Fund. The General Fund, meanwhile, allocates nearly half of its money to education, while also helping to develop natural resources and promote responsible gaming.

Neal Wanless of Mission became South Dakota’s biggest lottery winner when he pocketed $232 million on May 27 th 2009. A 23-year-old rancher, Wanless had purchased his ticket at the Ampride store in Winner and used family birthdays to choose his numbers. He opted for the lump sum of $118 million but told reporters at his media ceremony that he just wanted to вЂ˜go home and ranch and ride horses and check cows’.

Bill and Tina Nguyen from Pierre only had to make a short trip to the main lottery office in the same city after winning $116 million on May 17 th 2006. Bill had bought the lucky ticket when he stopped for gas ahead of a fishing trip to Hayes Lake, and the win allowed them to sell off their nail salon to an employee.

View the latest South Dakota Powerball Numbers after each drawing has taken place. See the prize payouts along with the number of SD winners.