A group of 30 current and former employees of a Kentucky middle school who won a $1 million Powerball jackpot hid the winning ticket in a math textbook.
The educators refer to themselves as the “Jones 30” after Rector A. Jones Middle School in Florence, where they all met. Their organizer, a retired math teacher, realized the day after Jan. 27’s Powerball drawing that the group matched the five white balls but not the Powerball number to win the game’s second prize of $1 million, a press release states.
After noticing the ticket purchased at a Hebron Kroger grocery store was a winner, it was securely “tucked away in a math textbook.”
“No one looks in a math book,” she joked. “I knew it would be safe there… page 200. I have checked this a thousand times.”
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The group carpooled together to collect their winnings after work Tuesday, and entered the lobby with cheers. Each one received a check for $24,000 after taxes.
They have been pooling their money together to play the lottery for over eight years, but have stuck to a “set of permanent Powerball numbers” they uniquely chose in 2019 to play each week.
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“Our math teacher and assistant principal pulled them out of a hat,” one winner explained. “At first, we didn’t have the right amount of numbers to choose from, so we drew again. Thank goodness we did.”
Kentucky Lottery President and CEO Mary Harville met with the group and took pictures with them as they collected their winnings.
“Kentucky Lottery games create fun for our players,” Harville said. “And these winning educators were having the time of their lives. It was wonderful to watch another chapter in their friendship unfold, thanks to the Kentucky Lottery.”
Some of the group members said they plan to invest their winnings, while others plan to travel or make home repairs.
“A lot of us have gone on trips together, we’ve had babies and grandbabies over the years,” one winner shared. “We always have so much fun. It’s just cool to win as a group and share this experience.”
The group plans to continue playing the lottery together as a way to stay in touch.
The 2023 fiscal year marked the “12th consecutive year that the sales record for Kentucky Lottery has been broken,” surpassing $1.8 billion in total sales, according to the Kentucky Lottery’s site.
Since the lottery’s founding in 1989, over $6.8 billion worth of proceeds have been raised and gone toward a variety of different programs throughout the state, the lottery reported.
Over $4.8 billion worth of funding toward educational grants and scholarship programs have been distributed since 1999, the site continued.
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