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July 18, 2024

Kentucky Middle School Employees Hit $1 Million Powerball Jackpot

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Feb 1, 2024

A group of 30 current and former employees at a Boone County, Kentucky middle school are celebrating a huge lottery win this week. The tight-knit group won a $1 million Powerball prize in the January 28 drawing after purchasing their winning Quick Pick ticket at a Hebron Kroger store.

Employees Initially Kept Quiet About Windfall

The group of Stephens Elementary School employees opted to keep their exciting news quiet at first, not even telling the school principal. As winner and Stephens reading interventionist Tara England told lottery officials, “We didn’t want everyone to know right away. We kind of wanted to process it by ourselves first.”

Once the group realized the full extent of their win, they devised a clever hiding place for the precious slip of paper – tucked inside a math textbook for safekeeping.

Two Employees Checked Ticket During Lunch Break

England and instructional assistant Meredith Yates eventually checked the ticket during their lunch break, scanning it using the lottery’s app on England’s phone. The two were stunned when the message “Congratulations, you’ve won $1 million!” popped up on the screen. Unsure they could believe what they were seeing, they decided to try scanning the ticket again just to make doubly sure.

”We both looked at each other and said, ‘There’s no way,’” England recalled. ”So, I scanned it again, and it said the same thing. We were just standing there crying and shaking. We double and triple checked because it just couldn’t be real!”

Difficult Secret to Keep Quiet

Once word spread amongst the group, it became harder and harder to contain their excitement over the win. As instructional assistant Stephanie Bieger explained with a laugh:

”I was just amazed and giggly all day! Anyone who knows me knows I can’t keep a secret. So, when I saw my family that night I just had the biggest smile on my face.”

The group was reportedly “giddy” at a Sunday breakfast meeting where they discussed their future plans and signed their winning ticket.

Previous Lottery Pool Wins

This isn’t the first significant lottery win by a pool of Stephens Elementary staff members. About eight years ago, a smaller group of employees also won $1 million on a Powerball ticket.

As for what they plan to do with the money this time, some said they will pay off bills or buy new homes. Others mentioned sharing some of the windfall with family members or taking a dream vacation. A few winners plan to sock away their share in savings or investments.

Prize Amount: $1 million
Date of Drawing: January 28, 2024
Date Claimed: January 31, 2024
Number of Winners: 30
Store Location: Kroger in Hebron, KY
Plans for the Money: Pay off bills, buy homes, take vacations, save/invest

As group representative and Stephens custodian Marvin Fisher summed up:

“We are all just your normal everyday people. We are dedicated employees who come to work and care very much about each other and the students we serve. This win doesn’t change who we are as people, and we plan to continue working like we always have!”

“Hard Working, Well-Deserved” Say District Administrators

Boone County Schools officials congratulated the winning group on their exciting windfall, calling it “well-deserved” and “heartwarming.”

Spokesperson Barbara Cain told reporters, “They are a hard working, dedicated group of amazing people who impact hundreds of students’ lives daily. Their commitment to public education goes above and beyond. We couldn’t be happier for them!”

Principal Mike Stallings echoed the district’s sentiments, praising his staff members as “some of the hardest working people I know” who now have the means to enjoy life a little more.

Students and parents also expressed joy over the news, saying the win couldn’t have happened to a nicer group of people. Parent Karla Adkins, whose two children previously attended Stephens Elementary, told a local TV station:

”Many of those employees were there when both my girls went through school there. They helped make it an amazing experience for my family. It’s so nice to see good things happening to truly good people.”

Looking Ahead: Future Lottery Plans

Moving forward, some in the group indicated they may continue trying their luck by playing the lottery on occasion. Instructional assistant Valerie Penn already has specific plans in mind:

”My birthday is next month,” Penn said. “Maybe lightning will strike twice, and we’ll win again!”

Only time will tell if Lady Luck will smile upon this fortunate group a second time. For now, they are relishing their long-shot win after years of dutifully showing up to nurture young minds – all while dreaming of having a little extra financial freedom.

Thanks to an auspicious Quick Pick ticket and a perfectly aligned set of Powerball numbers, that dream is now a sudden reality. The hard working educators can now breathe easier knowing their bills will be paid, bank accounts padded, and long-awaited vacations finally booked.

The group’s stunning stroke of luck proves once again how unpredictably fortunes can change overnight. In the word’s of Tara England:

“It’s just so crazy how something so life-changing can just come out of nowhere!”

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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