Anthony Eckman, or "Lighting" as many Johnson Siding, South Dakota residents call him, seems to be local lottery players' secret weapon. Carl Schwarzenberg and Ed Kiefer, two of the group of 37 Powerball winners who purchased the winning ticket together, believe Eckman's luck helped them win big. The two men returned to the Johnson Siding convenience store after winning $200,000, to thank Eckman with a gift of $740 for being their lucky charm. Schwarzenberg said,
"All 37 of us want to thank you. We all chipped in $20 and we want to give you $740 for giving us our winning ticket."
The Lucky 37 will each receive $4,054.05 in winnings, after taxes.
When asked what he will do with the $740, Eckman explains he'll probably, "Buy [his] son more diapers." Eckman was both surprised and grateful for the group's large cash 'thank you.' "It was really awesome. They really didn't need to do that," he said.
Eckman has become a legend in Johnson Siding. Tom Johnston and Jack Adamson remember Eckman selling tickets to several people who won more than $500 and one person who won $10,000. "He's one of the luckiest people I know," Johnston said.
Kiefer and Schwarzenberg both purchased tickets in the last several years from Eckman, winning them $100 each. They feared that their luck was up. But sure enough, Eckman helped them strike gold again.