JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.: Convenience store clerk wins $258 million jackpot

A central Missouri convenience store clerk with $28.96 in his bank account and a stack of utility bills to pay came forward Thursday as the winner of a $258 million Powerball jackpot.

Chris Shaw, 29, said he plans to use the winnings to pay off the $1,000 he owes a friend for a truck he recently bought, catch up on his utility bills, see a dentist about getting his two missing front teeth replaced, and take his three children and his girlfriend’s two children to Walt Disney World in Florida.

“We didn’t come from money. For us it’s just going to be a huge relief to know I’m going to be able to pay my electric bill, my gas bill,” Shaw said. “It’s like a weight lifted. I had bills at home I didn’t know how they were going to be paid.”

Shaw said he bought the $5 ticket Wednesday at the Break Time convenience store where he works in Marshall, about 80 miles east of Kansas City. He accepted his ceremonial check at the Missouri Lottery headquarters in Jefferson City wearing a tan and red plaid shirt, a red hat and a huge grin.

“That amount of money to me is like a fairy tale,” Shaw said. “I’m just a regular guy working paycheck to paycheck … well, not anymore.”

Shaw had been working at the convenience store for just three weeks when he decided to buy the Powerball ticket, cigarettes and a soda at the end of his shift Wednesday.

“We had been kidding each other all day about winning it, but no one actually thinks they will win,” Shaw said.

The $258.5 million jackpot is the 10th-biggest Powerball jackpot ever. The winning numbers were 11-34-41-49-55, Powerball 20. The Power Play number was 2.

Shaw said he will seek advice “from people who know about money” before deciding whether to take the jackpot in 30 payments over 29 years or the lump-sum amount of $124,875,122. He also said he needed a few days before deciding whether he will continue working at his minimum-wage job.

WASHINGTON: Senate approves measure denying Congress pay raise

Yielding to election year reality, the Senate passed a bill Thursday to deny members of Congress a built-in pay raise next year.

Russ Feingold, D-Wis., engineered the surprise passage of the legislation, which would deny senators and members of the House an automatic pay raise of about $1,600 next year. Members of Congress make $174,000 a year.

The Senate passed the measure unanimously without a roll call vote.

Lawmakers receive an automatic cost-of-living pay hike unless they pass legislation to block it — as they did last year. The last time they opted to take the pay hike was in 2008, which meant they received a $5,000 raise last January.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., makes $223,500 and Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, makes $193,400. President Obama makes $400,000.

Senate panel advances Obama budget blueprint

A Democratic-dominated Senate panel Thursday approved an election-year budget plan that cuts just a few billion dollars from President Obama’s budget for next year and puts off hard decisions on rapidly growing benefit programs.

With Democrats facing potentially ruinous losses in the midterm elections, the nonbinding Senate Budget Committee measure punts politically dangerous decisions on federal retirement programs such as Social Security and Medicare to a bipartisan deficit commission that’s holding its first meeting next week.

— From news service reports