Berkeley magistrate wins $79 million Powerball jackpot

Berkeley County Magistrate W. Randy Smith, center, of Martinsburg is presented a Powerball lottery check for $79 million by Gov. Joe Manchin, right, and state Lottery Director John Musgrave. (Photo courtesy of the governor's office)

CHARLESTON -- On Aug. 23, a Berkeley County magistrate became the eighth person from West Virginia to win the Powerball jackpot. William R. "Randy" Smith, 63, won the $79 million Powerball jackpot and will have received $30,377,866 after choosing the cash option of $44,347,250. West Virginia Lottery Director John Musgrave said the winning ticket was purchased from Mountaineer ROCS in Martinsburg. Smith's ticket matched the numbers 7, 10, 12, 22, 27 and the Powerball 26. Smith had bought three tickets for the weekend drawings -- a Hot Lotto, a MegaMillions and a Powerball -- at the Mountaineer ROCS convenience store in Martinsburg. Smith was elected Berkeley County magistrate in 2008. He was previously the county's sheriff for eight years. Smith said he would fulfill his immediate obligations to the court but likely would not finish the remaining two years of his term. He said he would give the county time to find a replacement. Mary Angelo, his assistant, said he's due back in court Aug. 30. Smith left Charleston on Aug. 23 with a check for $11,678,832, but would take home $8 million after state and federal taxes. The rest of his winnings—roughly $32 million—will be wired to him at a later date, Lottery officials said. Since he took the cash option, federal taxes come out to $11,086,812 and state taxes come out to $2,882,571. The Lottery presented Gov. Joe Manchin with the $2 million check made out to the state. He said the money from the win goes toward tourism, education and services for senior citizens. Steve Roach, vice president of Roach Energy, the company that owns Mountaineer ROCS, was also at the Lottery headquarters when Smith was presented with his check. The store received a bonus of $100,000 from the Lottery for selling the winning ticket. Roach said most of the bonus would be donated to local charities and other nonprofit organizations. In a statement issued by the Lottery Commission, Smith said he puts his family first and that the timing of his big win could not have been more perfect. Smith's granddaughter, Megan Brower, was laid off from her job at Applied Products in Bunker Hill. Smith said he would take care of his family and buy his children new homes and maybe purchase a new vehicle or two for himself. He said all of his current vehicles have more than 100,000 miles on them. He added that he plans to spend as much of his winnings as he can in West Virginia. The largest single amount won in West Virginia was on Christmas Day 2002 when Jack Whittaker hit for $314 million. Eight workers in the Monongalia County sheriff's department tax office were the last, in March 2008. The women chose the $139 million cash payout option and individually received $11.9 million after taxes. Berkley Circuit Judge John Yoder said Smith was gone from work Monday to collect his money, but many people were hanging around his office, hoping to talk to him. "Magistrate Smith's office is in between my office and my courtroom, so I see him several times a day," Yoder said. "I'm used to his office door being open, but it wasn't on Monday and there were a lot of people hanging around hoping to catch him if he came back." Yoder said he was happy to finally see someone he personally knew win the Powerball. "Magistrate Smith will reflect positively upon the image of West Virginia as compared to a past winner that was an embarrassment for the State's image," Yoder said. "I'm so used to visiting with him on a regular basis when going to and from the court room and my office, so I will miss seeing him on a regular basis, since I expect him to resign soon and more fully enjoy his life and lottery winnings." Smith's assistant, Mary Angelo, said Smith came into work over the weekend sure that he had not won, until she checked his ticket number against a print out of the winning numbers. Angelo said after that, Smith left work and had Magistrate Joanne Overington cover the rest of his shift while he went to check and see if he had really won the Powerball. Angelo has been Smith's assistant since he took office in 2008.

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