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Largest ever Illinois Powerball prize won by Freeport man

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Ted Baumgartner (center) with his family

It was probably not the best of days to find out he won the lottery, but April Fools’ Day was when Ted Baumgartner found out he won the largest Powerball prize ever awarded in Illinois.

According to a spokesperson from the Illinois State Lottery, the morning Baumgartner found out, two days after the March 30th drawing, he began notifying family and friends. Everyone thought it was a spirited gag until he showed them the winning ticket.

Shortly after arriving to his job of 3-years at a furniture store on Monday, April 1 he checked his ticket and realized he was the only winner of a $50 million prize.

The Freeport, Illinois man plans on investing most of his winnings but has his eye on a house with a few acres of hunting land. Future purchases may include a Dodge Challenger and a small fishing boat.

The father of three is also planning on helping his kids out with mortgage payments, tuition, and the restoration of a dear family pickup truck.

The truck belonged to his wife, Janine’s family. Baumgartner lost his wife to ovarian cancer nearly three years ago. In his wife’s honor, he plans on donating to ovarian cancer research.

For selling the ticket, the Freeport store will be paid $500,000.