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Mike Nowatzki, Published August 12 2009

Dilworth Powerball winner to pay off debts

A Dilworth man who works at a liquor store and donates plasma for extra cash said Tuesday that he plans to use his winnings from a $200,000 Powerball prize to pay off student loans and his credit card.

Clayton Kuhlemeyer accepted his check at Sunmart Foods at 3175 25th St. S. in Fargo, where he bought the winning ticket July 30.

Kuhlemeyer’s take-home prize for matching all five white balls was $138,920 after federal and state taxes were taken out.

The 25-year-old said he has played the Powerball lottery for the past two years, walking twice a week from his job at Crown Liquors to the Sunmart store in the same strip mall to buy one random Quick Pick ticket.

His boss sent him to Sunmart to buy office supplies on the Thursday he bought the winning ticket. The following Sunday, he woke up and checked his ticket against the winning numbers online, he said.

“I always check the Powerball first, because you need that to win the jackpot. (I was) kind of bummed when I didn’t match that,” he said. “Then I look – first number, second number, third, fourth, fifth, and I’m just like – well, I can’t say it, but …”

Kuhlemeyer, a Detroit Lakes, Minn., native who came to Fargo to attend North Dakota State University but didn’t finish, said he has “learned to live on the bare minimum” over the past few years and doesn’t plan to make any major lifestyle changes.

He said he’ll continue to donate plasma, and he plans to keep his 1994 Ford Aspire, which just got new hub caps.

“I’ll probably look into an additional vehicle,” he said.

The affable winner said a lot of people have told him he deserves the prize.

“And I guess, well, I can kind of agree with them,” he quipped. “I think I’m a good guy.”

Kuhlemeyer is the first $200,000 winner this year and the 16th since Powerball was launched in North Dakota on March 25, 2004, said Randy Miller, state lottery director.

Sunmart receives a $2,500 retailer bonus for selling the winning ticket.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528