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Persistence pays for lottery winner

By Staff | May 10, 2008

Cody Montgomery, Dennis Berry, and Steve DePauw were three of the Corn Belt Power Cooperative employees who won $200,000 in the Power Ball jackpot last week. Berry bought the winning ticket at Graettinger Country Store. EDN photo by Michael Tidemann

GRAETTINGER — For the last 10 years, you could set your clock by watching Dennis Berry of Graettinger buy a Powerball lottery ticket. He and his fellow employees at the Corn Belt Power Cooperative Earl F. Wisdom generating station midway between Spencer and Everly all chipped in a buck each once a week. It was like fishing with a net, you might say.

And then last week they caught the big one.

Berry and 14 fellow employees won the $200,000 Powerball jackpot. Berry bought the winning ticket at the Graettinger Country Store.

After taxes, each person received $8,750.

So what’s Berry going to do with his share of the winnings?

Corn Belt Power Cooperative employees at the Earl F. Wisdom generating station who won the $200,000 Powerball jackpot last week at Graettinger Country Store were, from left, Pat Connor, Ray Lathrop, Steve Smith, John Naber, Clay Burkhart, Dennis Berry, Ken Stone, Cody Montgomery, Steve DePauw, and Kevin White. Not pictured are Monty Dammann, Darvin Johnson, John Ralph, San Schauff, and Rod Stephas. Photo submitted

“I’m going to Louisiana with it to see my father,” he said, a little Louisiana drawl still hanging on his tongue despite years in the Midwest.

When asked about his wife Pamela’s reaction, said Berry, “She said OK, good.”

Berry said he’ll keep buying Powerball tickets. After all, it’s just a $1 a week investment. He says it’s a good idea for employees to get together and buy tickets on a regular basis.

So how’s their luck been up until now?

“We’ve won $100 several times but nothing like this,” Berry said.

Ray Lathrop, Corn Belt maintenance supervisor, was also in on the winning ticket.

“It was a nice come-to-work-Thursday-morning present,” Lathrop said, describing the winning employees’ mood as “low key but happy.”

Kevin White of Spencer said he was “surprised, I guess” at being one of the winners. When asked about what he’ll do with his share, said White, “I have no idea whatsoever.”

“It was pretty cool,” said Cody Montgomery of Greenville. “I’ll pay off a few bills, celebrate with the rest.”