Maureen Hinckley was sitting at her kitchen table drinking her morning cup of coffee when she discovered that she had won half of the Dec. 11 Powerball grand prize of $122 million.
“I opened the newspaper, and there were my numbers,” said the Sterling resident.
“I’d been playing these numbers for years. I couldn’t believe it.”
The lucky numbers include her birth date and the birthdays of her husband, her three daughters, and her son, said Hinckley.
Hinckley, 58, and her husband, Stephen Hinckley, 61, only came forward to claim the prize Thursday.
She said she has been working with a lawyer for the past month since learning that she won because she “just didn’t know what to do.”
Shortly after realizing that her numbers had been chosen, Hinckley said she called her husband.
“I said, ‘You have to come home right now. It is not an emergency, but I need you,’ ” she recalled Thursday.
Beth Bresnahan, spokeswoman for the state lottery, said another winning ticket for the Dec. 11 Powerball drawing was sold in Nebraska.
The two winners will split the prize.
Hinckley accepted her share of the winnings in a lump sum of $31.4 million, which will come to $23.9 million after taxes, said Bresnahan.
Hinckley and her husband plan to travel to many of the country’s national parks, something she has always wanted to do, she said.
“We’ve done a lot of camping, but we’ve never been to one of these parks,” she said.
Other than that, she said she is unsure how she will spend her fortune.
“I just need to sleep first,” she said. “I’m excited and scared at the same time. I never expected this.”
Hinckley purchased her ticket at Appletown Market on Main Street in Sterling.
Store owners and brothers Chirag and Sanket Patel will receive a $50,000 commission, according to the lottery.