DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Employees of a western Iowa convenience store were waiting excitedly Sunday to find out which of their customers won the $14.4 million Powerball jackpot.

“I think it’s wonderful,” said Charlotte Hostetter, a clerk at The Jump Start convenience store in Carter Lake, a town of 3,248 people on the eastern edge of Omaha, Neb.

It’s the first time the store has sold a winning Powerball ticket, Hostetter said.

It was the fourth time a winning Powerball ticket was sold in Iowa since the game began in April 1992, said Mary Neubauer, Iowa Lottery spokeswoman.

The last Iowa winning ticket was sold in 2000, she said.

Previous winners include Ed Brown, of Washington, who split a $10.4 million jackpot with a woman from Missouri in December 1992; Tim Shultz, of Des Moines, who won $28 million in February 1999 and the Larry Hasken family, of Sabula, who claimed a $31.8 million jackpot in January 2000.

The Powerball game is based in Des Moines and played in 27 states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands.

The ticket holder must decide whether to take a 29-year, 30-installment annuity worth $14.4 million or a one-time lump sum of $7.9 million.

Lottery officials said one ticket sold in South Carolina matched all but the Powerball number to be worth $100,000.

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