Oak Park family wins lotto jackpot


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By Marty Stempniak

Staff Reporter

An Oak Park family of five has become the first-ever Powerball winner in Illinois, grabbing $18.75 million in winnings, the Illinois Lottery announced last week.

The family — which has asked the lotto to remain unnamed — bought the winning ticket Dec. 11 at Thornton's gas station in Forest Park (601 Harlem). Asked to be identified as the "Shim Partnership," according to the Illinois Lottery, the family is splitting $37.5 million in winnings with another prizewinner in Kentucky.

The Shim Partnership reportedly bought the ticket just before leaving for a family vacation. The two self-employed parents don't frequently play, according to the lottery, but felt lucky because it was their son's birthday. In a state of "disbelief," the family discovered their winning numbers on their son's phone the next day.

Wednesday Journal confirmed the family's name through multiple sources but calls to their Oak Park home were not returned. The lottery released the family's picture last week, but we're honoring their request to remain unnamed.

The winning ticket had the numbers 1, 8, 10, 19 and 20, with a Powerball number of 23. The family has decided to take the one-time cash payment, and after taxes, they'll take home about $6.8 million, according to lottery spokesman Tracy Owens.

Meanwhile, Thornton's in Forest Park gets a windfall of $187,000 for selling the winning ticket.

Powerball has been around since 1988 and will mark the anniversary of its first drawing in Illinois on Feb. 3.

Reader Comments

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Abanananutbread from Oak Park   

Posted: January 21st, 2011 5:58 PM

Congrats to the Shim Partnership! Enjoy your winnings in good health.

Photo Safari from Kenai  

Posted: January 21st, 2011 1:14 PM

Cut The Taxes. That was hilarious. I hope you write for a column somewhere. If you do let me know what it is. Congrats to the family. I hope they use it for good.

Anonymous but Pictured from River Forest  

Posted: January 20th, 2011 8:48 PM

Cut the Cheese had a point. It's not so anonymous with a picture. Oak park is not that big of a place. Congrats to the fam, that's awesome.

Emma from Oak Park  

Posted: January 20th, 2011 4:41 PM

whoa! one of the kids was in my criminal and civil law class this year! crazy. congrats to the family. that's gotta be an awesome feeling!

Cut The Cheese from Oak Park  

Posted: January 20th, 2011 2:03 PM

Congratulations to the family...but really, why on earth would the lottery and the WJ publish the picture if the family wished to be anonymous? And if anyone actually knows the family, do them a favor and keep it to yourselves. It's really nobody's business, but I'm sure plenty of folks will try to "guilt" them into donating to their own pet causes. Personally, I hope they donate to the Tea Party candidates of their choice, and to private charity.

Oakparkerr from Oak Park  

Posted: January 19th, 2011 9:04 PM

I can't even imagine what they must be feeling. Congratulations.

Ges Loldon from Oak Park  

Posted: January 19th, 2011 6:03 PM

They will just use it to ruin more trees in the parks!

Ernie from Oak Park, Il  

Posted: January 19th, 2011 5:29 PM

God Bless'em. I just played at the same gas station for our office pool. It's sold a few 5 number tickets in the past.

Cut the Taxes von Neumann from OP  

Posted: January 19th, 2011 9:00 AM

I don't think so. This combination of numbers was SO obvious, any dolt could have picked them. Start with 1, obviously. Add everyone's lucky number of 7 to get the 8. Then to show aliens we are a 10-based system, put in the 10. Next add the first three numbers, according to the well-known Fibonacci-Fermi Theorem, giving 19. Take the ORIGINAL 1 according to the ancient directives of the Tanna Leaf Priests of Karnak and add to give the 20. Trivial. Big deal. The 23? MJ, obviously.


Posted: January 18th, 2011 11:27 PM

LMAO @ Les. Nice one.

Les CTT Golden from OP  

Posted: January 18th, 2011 7:14 PM

Gambling is a sin. Repent ye and enter the House of the Lord and pray for forgiveness. Bears 3.

Jim Bowman  

Posted: January 18th, 2011 5:39 PM

yabba, do we know this is the family? OakPark.com is not identifying them. are you one of them, explaining the pic w/o caption?

Carmen from Oak Park  

Posted: January 18th, 2011 5:20 PM

I think they should buy a (or 10) Volvo from Volvo of Oak Park! ; )


Posted: January 18th, 2011 5:11 PM

Asked not to be named, but the Lotto releases their picture. Nice job.

Nancy Trock T-Renegade Fitness from Oak Park  

Posted: January 18th, 2011 5:11 PM

This is wonderful!!!! I don't know you but I am so very HAPPY for you, neighbors!!!

john murtagh from Oak Park  

Posted: January 18th, 2011 5:03 PM

Congratulations to the Shim Partnership.

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