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Group of 30 Kentucky middle school employees wins a $1 million Powerball jackpot

By Ashley R. Williams, CNN

(CNN) — Five numbers on one lucky Powerball ticket won $1 million for a Kentucky middle school’s lottery pool of 30 current and former employees, the Kentucky Lottery says.

The Boone County counselors, administrative staff members, special education teachers and others who pooled their money over the past eight years each took home $24,000 after taxes following their win of the January 27 Powerball drawing, according to a lottery news release.

The group said they’ve played a permanent set of Powerball numbers since 2019, sticking to those numbers week after week. It finally paid off.

“Our math teacher and assistant principal pulled them out of a hat,” one winner said, according to the Kentucky Lottery. “At first, we didn’t have the right amount of numbers to choose from, so we drew again. Thank goodness we did.”

Although the winners did not want their names publicized, they agreed to the photograph, a lottery spokesperson said.

The group’s organizer, a retired math teacher, realized the group had won the day after the drawing. The organizer said she stored the winning ticket – which matched the five white balls but not the red Powerball number – inside the 200th page of a math book for safekeeping.

“No one looks in a math book,” she said. “I knew it would be safe there.”

The fortunate group of educators – self-nicknamed the “Jones 30” – met at Rector A. Jones Middle School in Florence, according to the release.

“Some have moved on or retired, but we still continue to do (the pool),” one of the winners told the Kentucky Lottery. “We’ve remained buddies for all of these years.”

Some of the winners said they plan to invest their winnings, while others want to travel or spend the cash on home repairs, according to the release.

But this big win won’t stop them from playing, the group said. They plan to keep their lottery tradition going as a fun way to stay connected.

“A lot of us have gone on trips together, we’ve had babies and grandbabies over the years,” one winner said. “We always have so much fun. It’s just cool to win as a group and share this experience.”

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