ST. CHARLES, Mo. – A St. Charles couple have claimed the $96.5 million Powerball jackpot.
John Brands, 49, discovered his March 22 Powerball ticket was worth $96.5 million after checking his numbers on the lottery website the following morning. He was about to go play golf, when he realized all six numbers matched.
Brands, a civil engineer, ran in and woke up his wife, who thought their house was on fire.
"I thought he was messing with me," said 49-year-old Susan Brands.
The pair "walked around the house shell-shocked."
John Brands has already quit his job. Susan is studying web design and will finish out the semester.
The pair plan to buy new vehicles because their current vehicles are eight and 10-years-old. They also plan to take a trip to New Zealand because they want to see where "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit" were filmed.
"We're nerds," Susan joked.
The money will also be used to allow them to spend time to do things they've always wanted to do, but never had time for, such as learning foreign languages, going to culinary school, and taking guitar lessons. John would also like to buy farmland.
"We are just so humbled by this experience," said Susan. "John and I both feel very blessed and grateful to have this happen to us."
John purchased the winning ticket at a Bridgeton Mobil station, and allowed the computer to pick the winning numbers: 13, 28, 31, 55, 58, with a Powerball of 15. The Mobil station where the ticket was purchased will receive a $50,000 bonus.
This is the sixth-largest jackpot ever won in Missouri.
The Brands have declined contact with news media.