May 11, 2006, 11:45 am
When asked how often he played the Ohio Lottery, Middletonian Bass Brandenburg let his wife, Virginia, answer that question.
"How often does the sun shine?" she replied.
The sun came out in a big way for the Brandenburgs this week. The couple bet their bottom $10 on the $200 Million Cash Spectacular instant game and came up winners of $1 million — or so the scratch-off ticket read.
Eighty-year-old Bass Brandenburg thought he may not have a lot of time to enjoy that money, so he opted to take the cash up front.
The Ohio Lottery Commission invests $500,000 to fund the $1 million prize, so the lottery distributes only $500,000 under the cash option, said Sandra Neal, a lottery spokeswoman. After federal and state taxes, $345,000 is left.
Had Brandenburg opted for installment payments, he would have received $50,000 a year for 20 years, before taxes.
But even with only about 35 percent to keep, "spending $10 and getting $345,000 is still pretty good to me," he said.
The object of the $200 Million Cash Spectacular is to match sets of numbers. When Brandenburg scratched off two 24s, he asked the clerk at D's Market on 416 S. Sutphin St. what he won.
The clerk told Brandenburg, "Bass, you've got to be the coolest person I ever saw in my life who just won $1 million."
Brandenburg plans to divvy the money among his seven children.
"When you've worked all your life and you've got what you wanted, you give the kids a certain amount of money," said Brandenburg, who spent 25 years as a custodian at Vail Middle School before retiring in 1994.
Not that other people aren't interested in the money, too.
When Brandenburg told his family doctor of his fortune, the doctor replied, "You don't have seven children, you have eight!"
The Brandenburgs' daughter, Kathy Lykins, one of the eventual recipients of the money, said "I'm just glad he's been playing the lottery."
D's Market will receive a $10,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket, Neal said.
Brandenburg is Middletown's second lottery winner in as many months. Cheryl Million claimed a $25,000 prize in the instant Lucky Fortune game in March.
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