BOISE – The Caldwell fire chief is Idaho’s newest millionaire.
Mark Wendelsdorf and his wife Kim claimed a $1 million prize from the Idaho Lottery today.
The Powerball ticket he bought for the Sept. 19, 2012 draw matched the first five numbers and is worth a million bucks.
"I checked the ticket on Thursday morning after the draw at a store and was told to sign it and take it to Boise,” said Wendelsdorf. “But they couldn’t tell me how much it was, so I thought I’d won maybe $2,500.”
He then used a KTVB-Idaho Lottery smart phone app to check the winning numbers. Still unconvinced he was a big winner, he checked the app again later that day to learn the Lottery announced there was a million dollar winner in Caldwell.
Wendelsdorf signed the winning ticket and locked it in a safe place at the fire station. When he finally told his wife two days later, she didn’t believe him.
The couple took nearly three weeks to put their financial affairs in order, meeting with their banker and accountant before claiming the ticket.
“When we wake up on Friday morning, we will be debt free,” said Weldensdorf.
In addition to paying off all their debts, the Weldensdorfs plan to buy a few big presents and invest the rest of their winnings.
The winning ticket was sold at the Stinker Store at 704 Cleveland Boulevard in Caldwell, a block from the fire station. They received a $20,000 bonus from the Idaho Lottery.