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Published August 12, 2011, 06:51 PM

Burnsville, MN, Couple Wins Huge Lotto Jackpot; Haven't Decided on Payout

The winners of the nearly $229 million Minnesota Lottery have been unveiled. Thomas and Kathleen Morris of Burnsville were announced late this afternoon as Minnesota's newest multimillionaries.

By: Forum Communications,

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ROSEVILLE, Minn. — The winners of the nearly $229 million Minnesota Lottery have been unveiled.

Thomas and Kathleen Morris of Burnsville were announced late this afternoon as Minnesota's newest multimillionaries.

Thomas says he usually buys three tickets, but Kathleen thought her husband didn't buy a ticket that week for the lottery as he headed out of town for work.

"Tom, someone in Dakota County won the lottery, too bad we didn't buy a ticket," Kathleen said.

But Thomas did. In fact, he bought five Wednesday, he said.

The couple met with a financial adviser early this week, before learning they had won. The adviser said the only way the could retire was if they won the lottery.

Thomas said he is a sales engineer. But Kathleen quickly made her point.

"He's retired, as of 14-15 hours ago."

The couple, married for 38 years, said they haven't decided if they'll take the lump sum or installments. They will have 60 days whether to take about $123 million in cash now, which would be about $84 million after taxes, or a full payout over 30 years.

The couple, who said they have two daughters, said it'll be "family first."

"My mom is still alive, so I want to help her," Thomas said of his 86-year-old mother.

For the record, the winning numbers were 11-18-36-41-46 and the Powerball of 38. Thomas bought the ticket Wednesday at a SuperAmerica convenience store in Lakeville. The store will get $50,000 for selling the winning ticket.

Acting lottery director Jenny Canfield says the agency was contacted by the Morris' on Friday morning.

A press conference was held this afternoon to introduce the winners.

Lottery officials say it's the largest jackpot ever won in Minnesota. The winner or winners have the option of taking about $123 million in cash now, which would be about $84 million after taxes, or a full payout over 30 years.

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