Monday, February 26, 2007

Iowa Man Discovers He's a Lucky 'Idiot'

(AP) Ed O'Neill's bank account just got a lot bigger, thanks to a co-worker who told him some "idiot" hasn't claimed an $800,000 Powerball lottery prize.

O'Neill, 58, who works for the Clinton Chamber of Commerce, bought the ticket for a Jan. 6 Powerball drawing. He told Iowa Lottery staffers he didn't think to check the results until a couple days afterward when a chamber receptionist pointed out an article in the local newspaper.

"She said, 'Read this article about the idiot that hasn't claimed his ticket.' So I read it and noticed where the ticket was bought," O'Neill said. "I thought, 'Gee, I better look at my ticket.' That's when I said, 'I think I won.'"

Then he called his wife, Diane, 58, who thought he was pulling a prank.

O'Neill said his wife told him to "quit horsing around. I'm watching Oprah."

O'Neill countered: "No really, Diane. I won."

Hysteria soon ensued as Diane realized he wasn't joking.

On Monday, the couple cashed in the ticket at the lottery headquarters in Des Moines, but not before meeting with an accountant and planning how to handle the winnings.

"There's a lot of responsibility that comes with that kind of money," O'Neill said.

O'Neill won by matching five white balls in the Powerball game. He also had purchased the Power Play option, multiplying a $200,000 prize by four.

After taxes, the couple will get about $560,000 _ much of which will go to pay off their mortgage, pay off their children's mortgages and save for retirement.

There will be a little left for fun, too. O'Neill said he and his wife are planning a trip to Ireland.

They also plan to donate money to Prince of Peace Catholic Parish in Clinton to help pay for construction of another church.

©MMVII The Associated Press.

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That Bitch Is Really High Maintenance.

Seattle (AP) -- A newly opened store catering to very pampered dogs, especially female dogs, is getting more than questioning looks for its name, High Maintenance Bitch.

The third word in the sign is widely visible at North 45th Street and Wallingford Avenue North, one of the main intersections in the Wallingford neighborhood business west of Interstate 5 and north of the Lake Washington Ship Canal.

"I am probably the most progressive liberal person in the world and I am personally offended by the sign," said Janet Stillman, executive director of the Wallingford Neighborhood Office. "It's so blatant and so in your face."

The sign is the issue more than products such as Gel-ous Bitch bath gel and Street Walker paw cleanser, said Kara Ceriello, co-president of the Wallingford Chamber of Commerce.

Ceriello said she supports the store but has heard complaints from about a dozen people.

"It is going to be a hot issue again when we get to our Wallingford Kiddie Parade and Street Fair," she said.

Stillman said the sign could wreck family photographs of the parade, scheduled for July 7.

"Walk by there with your 5-year-old and try to explain why that sign is there. Half of the sign is made up of the word 'bitch.'"

Making no apologies, co-founder Lori Pacchiano, 36, said she planned to meet with the chamber Thursday. Meanwhile, she and her brother, Ryan Pacchiano, 27, hope to made the business name as commonplace in shopping areas as Victoria's Secret.

Over the next three years they hope to open 10 stores at a cost of about $200,000 each.

"Our company is probably the most high-end pet brand in the world," Pacchiano said. "We want to be known for growing from Seattle."

In the process, she said, one of her goals is to reclaim the word in its original meaning, a female dog, as opposed to a derogatory term for a woman.

"Our store is a dog store, but the concept and philosophy is directed specifically toward women," she said.

The High Maintenance Bitch: It's Not About Being a Dog, It's About Being a Bitch