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Vermillion man claims $154,737 lotto jackpot

PIERRE — At first, Derek Ronning thought his co-workers were playing a joke on him.

“I figured maybe they’d put a fake ticket in my wallet to make me think I was a winner,” said the Vermillion man, who works nights for the city of Vermillion. “So I stared at the ticket to see if it was the right game, the right date, the right numbers.”

After half an hour of inspection, Ronning came to the conclusion that he was the winner of the $154,737 Dakota Cash jackpot from Saturday’s drawing. He collected his prize at the Sioux Falls Lottery office Monday.

Ronning, who’s an avid scratch ticket player and regularly purchases quick picks for Dakota Cash and Hot Lotto, purchased his winning lotto ticket at Hy-Vee on West Cherry in Vermillion. The store will receive a $5,000 bonus for the sale. Having to wait until Monday to claim his jackpot gave Ronning some time to think about what to do with his winnings.

“I’m going to invest half of it. And I’m going to buy my parents a new car next month for their 50th anniversary,” he said.

The $154,737 Dakota Cash jackpot is his biggest win to date, and he plans to keep trying his luck.

“You can’t win if you don’t play,” said Ronning.

Dakota Cash is played and won only in South Dakota. The jackpot currently sits at $20,000 for today’s drawing.

-Source: South Dakota Lottery