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Grand Forks teacher wins $100,000 in Powerball drawing

GRAND FORKS -- Ruth Pederson, a Grand Forks middle school teacher of more than 20 years, had prayed Sunday night for a good first day of class after summer vacation.

GRAND FORKS -- Ruth Pederson, a Grand Forks middle school teacher of more than 20 years, had prayed Sunday night for a good first day of class after summer vacation.

As that first Monday of the year went on and the excited special education instructor marveled at how much the kids had grown over the break, it became clear her prayers had been answered. What wasn’t yet clear was the extent.

Not long after Pederson left school, she discovered she’d won the lottery -- a $100,000 Powerball with Power Play prize from numbers drawn on Saturday.

“I remember thinking, ‘Oh, my feet are sore, I should sit,’ ” she said Tuesday evening as she drove back from Bismarck, where she’d claimed her winnings earlier that day. “It was about 10 minutes to 4 p.m., so I had about 10 minutes left and had forgotten I had the ticket. I looked at it, then looked at another teacher and asked, ‘Do you think four white balls and a Powerball is good?’ ”

Pederson described herself as an occasional lottery player and said her son had been the one to eventually explain that she’d won the drawing on the “quick pick” ticket.

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She spent the second day of the school year on her trip to Bismarck. Calling in absent from her classroom wasn’t easy, even with the circumstances.

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