Former Grady teacher wins $200,000 lottery prize

By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer

The numbers added up for a former Grady teacher.

Vandean “Bibbi” Isler of Grady on Friday claimed a $200,000 prize from a Powerball ticket she purchased in Clovis.

Isler was in town to watch her granddaughter, Jacee Isler, compete in the April 30 District 4-5A track championship at Clovis High, and she had a little bit of money left from her quick grocery store run at Stansell’s Thriftway.

“I had $5,” she said.” I said, ‘Gimme five quick picks.’”

She didn’t bother checking until she stopped at a convenience store in Clovis on Wednesday. She misread the prize description because of vision troubles, and originally thought she won $10,000.

“I was pretty excited,” she said.

When she got home, she called her son, J.D. Isler of Clovis. He checked the numbers himself and told her the actual prize amount.

The drawing is done with two bins — five balls are picked from one bin of 59 numbered white balls, and the Powerball is drawn from a bin of 39 numbered red balls.

There are nine ways to win with a Powerball ticket, New Mexico Lottery spokesperson Linda Hamlin said. Players can win by matching at least three white balls without the Powerball, or any combination with it.

In the drawing, Isler had all five of the drawing’s white numbers — 16, 23, 25, 49 and 58. The odds of matching five numbers, according to Powerball’s website is approximately 1 in 5 million. Had Isler also matched the Powerball of 20, Hamlin said she would have won a $46 million jackpot.

After “Uncle Sam and Gov. Richardson got their share,” Isler said she and her husband Jerry ended up with about $138,000, which she said was, “more than I had.”

The couple plans to use the money to pay off the family farm in Grady and help with college expenses for grandchildren. Jacee’s older sister Jadee attends New Mexico State, and older brother Jaden is getting set to attend McMurry University in Abilene, Texas, where he signed on last week to play basketball.

Stores that sell a jackpot winner are eligible for a $50,000 prize, and the Clovis supermarket is eligible for a bonus of $2,500 for the non-jackpot sale, Hamlin said.

Powerball tickets cost $1. Players can pay an extra $1 for the “power play,” which applies a multiplier between two and five for non-jackpot prizes. Due to a May promotion, Hamlin said the “power play” option could have pushed the prize to $2 million.

“I didn’t have the heart to tell her,” Hamlin said.