Friends and neighbors of Nebraska's latest $1 million Powerball winner said Tuesday they couldn't be happier for Patricia Krontz.
Krontz collected her winnings Monday at Nebraska Lottery headquarters in Lincoln. No one answered the phone at the home in Homer where she lives with her husband, Ron Frank.
Shirley Bentz, who has lived across the street from Krontz for 10 years, said she was thrilled to learn her neighbor was a winner in the Saturday drawing.
“It couldn't happen to a nicer couple,” Bentz said. “They really deserve it for all the good they do.”
The couple raised two children and are now foster parents to six more, she said.
“Ron and I were on the fire department together for several years,” Bentz said. “And Pat would do anything for anyone.”
Krontz told Nebraska Lottery officials that a friend mentioned a winning ticket had been sold in Homer.
The ticket contained one play with all five winning white ball numbers — 4, 6, 34, 49, 56 — for a corresponding prize of $1 million.
“When I heard that, I thought, 'I should go check my tickets,'” Krontz told officials. “So I went back to the store and checked them. I couldn't believe that I'd won.”
Krontz told officials her immediate plans were “to pay bills.”
Nine Nebraska Lottery players have won the $1 million prize since the Powerball game was modified Jan. 15, 2012. The odds of winning $1 million playing Powerball are 1 in 5,153,633, while the overall odds of winning any prize are 1 in 31.8.
J&J's Pronto in Homer, where the $1 million ticket was sold, will receive a $10,000 prize from the Nebraska Lottery. An employee who answered the phone there declined to be identified.
“We're all excited for her and we think it's awesome,” the woman said. “When I see Pat I plan on telling her that this is God's way of rewarding her for being a foster parent.”