The Politician's Winning Ticket

Sen. Judd Gregg pocketed $853,492.
Sen. Judd Gregg pocketed $853,492. (By Melina Mara -- The Washington Post)

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By Mark Leibovich
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, October 21, 2005

In a just and equitable society, Sen. Judd Gregg would be the last person who should win the lottery.

But to heck with just and equitable. The chairman of the Senate Budget Committee -- a lawyer who lists between $2.5 million and $9 million in assets on his financial disclosure form -- added another 853,492 smackers yesterday thanks to a little friend called Powerball.

"I'm truly deserving," declared the New Hampshire Republican, who was one of 49 people across the country to win second place in a drawing Wednesday night. He collected his winnings yesterday at D.C.'s lottery claims center. "I feel this is the result of my ability and talent." He said this over the phone so it could not be determined whether his tongue was in his cheek.

Gregg, who buys lottery tickets "sporadically," purchased his winning ticket at the Citgo station on New York Avenue at Bladensburg Road NE (yeah, we know, we drive by there all the time, too).

The senator bought four sheets of tickets for $20 and, wouldn't you know it, left one of the sheets inside. The clerk was nice enough to bring the missing sheet to his car.

"For all I know, the winning ticket was on that sheet," Gregg said.

It raises the question of whether Gregg will reward the clerk for running after him.

"Well, she didn't run after me," Gregg clarified. "She just told me I forgot one of the sheets."

We'll take that as a no.

Gregg, 58, said he would give a portion of his winnings to the Hugh Gregg Foundation -- named for his father, the former governor -- which supports charities in New Hampshire.

Will he keep any for himself?

"Oh yes," he said. "The majority I will use personally."


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