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Published August 12, 2011, 08:10 PM

Powerball winners look to retire, help family

ROSEVILLE, Minn. — Just this week, Thomas and Kathleen Morris were meeting with a financial adviser to discuss their retirement prospects. With the stock market taking a beating, things weren't looking so good.

ROSEVILLE, Minn. — Just this week, Thomas and Kathleen Morris were meeting with a financial adviser to discuss their retirement prospects. With the stock market taking a beating, things weren't looking so good.

But by Friday, the Burnsville couple were Minnesota's newest multimillionaires, having come forward as the winner of a Powerball jackpot worth nearly $229 million.

The couple, who have been married for 38 years, haven't decided exactly what they will do with the money. But one thing is for sure: Thomas Morris said he will quit his job as a sales engineer on Monday. He also plans to spend some of the money on his 86-year-old mother.

"He is retired as of 14 or 15 hours ago," his wife said.

Kathleen Morris said the couple had just met with their financial adviser on Monday and early retirement "didn't look so good."

They have 60 days to decide whether to take about $123 million in cash now — about $84 million after taxes — or the full payout over 30 years.

"We're going to discuss it with our financial adviser," Kathleen Morris told reporters Friday. "It will be a much more fun conversation than talking about the stock market."

The Morrises declined to give their age, but they did say they became grandparents for the first time earlier this month.

Thomas Morris bought five lottery tickets on Aug. 10 at a SuperAmerica convenience story in Lakeville. He said he usually only buys three, but decided to get two extra because he only had a $5 bill.

He used the random-number option and said the fourth ticket was the winner. The winning Powerball numbers were 11-18-36-41-46 and the Powerball was 38.

"It's still kind of hard to get my head around," Thomas Morris said. "It's a lot of money."

Kathleen Morris said she didn't think their lives would change too much, although their lifestyle might get a little better.

"It would be nice to think that good things happen to good people," she said. "I think we've been good people."

The SuperAmerica gets $50,000 for selling the winning ticket.

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