Thursday, July 27, 2000

Big Powerball winners check in, punch out

By Susan Vela
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Found: The Northern Kentucky couple possessing the sole winning ticket to Saturday's $65.4 million Powerball drawing.

        Mack Metcalf, 42, a forklift driver from Florence, and his wife, Virginia Metcalf Merida, 46, a corrugator from Dayton, Ky., showed up at Kentucky Lottery Corp. headquarters in Louisville on Wednesday to present the lucky ticket with the numbers 2-12-15-33-41 and Powerball 33.

        The married couple of 14 years will reap $34.1 million within the next two weeks because of Mr. Metcalf's recent decision to buy a $3 pick ticket, with a cash op tion, at Pilot Travel Center in Richwood.

        The Cincinnati Enquirer could not reach the couple, who declined a press conference, but they told state lottery officials their tentative plans.

        Although living in separate households, the couple has made a deal to split the money, 60-40. Mr. Metcalf will receive about $20.5 million before taxes. Ms. Merida will receive $13.6 million.

        They already are making plans for their multimillions, which don't include punching a clock. They told lottery officials they will quit their jobs.

        Mr. Metcalf, who has worked 21/2 years at Johnson Controls Inc. in Florence, plans to explore Australia.

        “I'm going to totally get away,” he said in a statement released by the lottery.

        He was finishing up a 12-hour shift when he checked the newspaper Sunday morning and learned that he had the winning numbers.

        “I clocked out right then, and I haven't been back,” the statement said.

        Ms. Merida has worked two years at Indy Honeycomb in Highland Heights. She plans to return, but only to pick up her last check.

        A Johnson Controls supervisor said Mr. Metcalf is “a pretty nice guy. He was a good employee.”


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