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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 March, 2004, 23:21 GMT
Laid-off worker's $49m lotto win
Tim and Pam Rivers
Tim Rivers and wife Pam hope to leave their trailer home
Former US factory worker Tim Rivers is celebrating a dramatic reversal of fortune - barely a week being laid off, he has won $49m in the state lottery.

The 24-year-old from Salem, Indiana, hit the Powerball lottery jackpot.

"I woke up thinking... I don't know where the money's going to come from to pay my bills," he said, "and by the grace of God, that money came in."

Mr Rivers, who is married with two children, plans to buy two sports utility vehicles and a new home.

Financial adviser

He currently lives in a trailer home with his wife Pam, his six-month-old son and four-year-old daughter.

The couple plan to use some of the money to finance a return to education.

The winning ticket was for the amount of $89m - of which they will receive $49m after deciding to take their winnings in cash.

"Winning that much money terrified me," Mr Rivers said.

His first reaction on learning of his luck was to contact a financial adviser.

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