May 9, 2008, 12:51 pm
If you can't win it big in the lottery, you hope the ones who do seem worthy of the prize. Which is why few can be disappointed that a Minnesota couple has come forward to claim one of the biggest jackpots in North American history — a whopping $180 million.
Paul and Sue Rosenau were the sole winners of the Powerball lottery in last Saturday's big draw. The couple, from the small town of Waseca, will take a one time lump sum payment worth $59.6 million after taxes.
Both are 54 and both still have time to enjoy their winnings. But neither believes the money will change their lives very much. They say they already had what matters most. "We realize that money is probably not as important as friendship and helping others," Paul Rosenau explains. "And that's what we hope to do with it."
He's a heavy equipment operator. She works at an agricultural research institute. Neither plans to retire. Like many people who strike it rich, the pair has only a few early plans, including buying a new house, taking a long deferred trip to Hawaii and vacationing with their kids.
But while the still stunned husband and wife admit the 'whirlwind win' has left them unable to think about the future, there is one other place the money is almost sure to go. Their amazing win came on a bitter anniversary for the two. It was five years to the day that their 2-year-old granddaughter died from a rare nervous system disorder known as Krabbe disease.
Research into stopping that fate from befalling anyone else is high on their agenda. "It's very emotional to know that there's a reason for this," Sue Rosenau outlines.
For now, the couple is still trying to adapt to their new status but note they're the same people they were before those fateful numbers were drawn on the weekend. "We don't need a lot," Paul concludes. "We've got more than what we need. We want to have a regular life."
And that kind of attitude is something money can't buy.
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