BELLS, TX-A Bells convenience store that sold the first ever winning Powerball jackpot ticket in the state of Texas came out winners as well. Two months after selling that winning ticket to a Ravenna man, the owners got a big check of their own.
Lone Star Food Store #48 in Bells got a $400,000 check from the Texas Lottery Commission for selling the winning ticket. Wednesday, the store owner told us how selling that ticket turned into a win for the whole community.
Dozens of people stopped in at the Bells convenience store Wednesday afternoon. Some to celebrate the sale of Texas' first Powerball jackpot winning ticket worth $40-million, others to try their own luck at a Powerball win.
"I think it's awesome. And at first, I thought it was my son-in-law who was in town that weekend who had bought a ticket. So I called him when I heard about it so I said 'check your ticket' and he did and it wasn't," said Faye Nell Anderson, Bells resident.
"I think that's awesome, it's great. It puts Bells on the map," Paula Walthall laughed.
The Texas Lottery Commission presented owner, Bill Douglass a $400,000 check for selling the winning ticket.
"We're thrilled to be the first one in Texas to win a Powerball. I mean that $40-million is still big money in North Texas," he said.
Douglass said they'll use the prize money on store upgrades and $10,000 will go to help their employees.
"The balance of the money will be used. We already put new equipment in the store, we're making investments in other stores and we're distributing money to all our employees," he said.
But the community also wins.
Douglass presented a $10,000 check to the city of Bells to help build a pavilion for the Roger D. Sanders Park.
"I think that's great they're willing to do this, not everybody can do it and they did."
Bells Mayor Gary Martin said he was surprised and was extremely grateful.
"It's gonna help the city a little bit, plus we're gonna get a little benefit out of it. It's something that, when we get that far along, we'll get them down here to dedicate that park," he said.
"I think that's great, we've been needing some improvements to the park for a long time and I think money will be well spent that way," said Walthall.
"This is just a once in a lifetime gift, a gift from God. So sharing is not hard," said Douglass.
I caught up with Paul McDowell, the man who won the $40-million Powerball jackpot. He didn't want to speak on camera, but said life has been good and he's glad the community gets to enjoy the winnings too.