Rocky Patel of Flanagan and Bob Baker of Minonk pose with their big check and smile (a lot)
By Todd Wineburner
The November 28th Powerball drawing paid big dividends to Bob Baker of Minonk and Rocky Patel of Flanagan, and state lottery officials were in Flanagan today (Thursday) to present a one-million dollar check. Patel manages Bart’s Supermarket in Flanagan, and he was encouraging everyone to buy a Powerball ticket on the day of the big drawing. Baker wanted to buy one, but he only had one dollar. Patel made up the difference, and the quick-pick ticket that they bought matched 5 of the 6 numbers for a 1-million dollar prize. Both men say their lives won’t change that much, and Patel says he’s definitely going to keep pushing lottery tickets.
After taxes and other obligations, each man walks away with 350-thousand dollars. Both men say they’ll set the winnings aside for their children, but Patel says he'll buy his kids a 3-D TV, and Baker says his wife would like a new washer and dryer.
While he was smiling over his good fortune, Baker said he saw the winning numbers the next morning on television and suspected a big payday. When he told his wife about the ticket, she dismissed him at first, saying she didn't think the ticket had much value because it didn't match the Powerball number. As he left for the day, he suspected that her curiosity was taking over. Baker laughed as he talked about how she stopped him and told him to make sure he called her if he found out anything about the ticket.
Bob Baker was planning his retirement from the Illinois Department of Agriculture before the win. He says the money will let him retire debt free, which is a good feeling. Rocky Patel says he'll keep working and keep encouraging people to buy lottery tickets. Some of his money is going to be donated to local schools, but he says he'll invest the rest for his children.