This group of 16 Montgomery County School System co-workers were “off by one” Powerball number for the big jackpot, but still won a $50,000 prize!
Split $50,000 third-tier prize
During their company’s holiday party last weekend, a group of 16 Montgomery County School System co-workers decided to purchase Powerball tickets together. They weren’t able to get a contract together and collect money prior to last Saturday’s drawing, so they waited until Wednesday’s $1.6 billion drawing to play. It worked out well since they matched four white balls and the Power Ball to win $50,000.
“This was only the third time we’ve played together and the first time since 2012,” said the group’s spokesperson, Rachel O’Connell. “I guess it’s a good thing we weren’t able to get tickets for the Saturday drawing and had to wait for Wednesday.”
Rachel, who collected the money and purchased 80 tickets for the group, said she was already asleep when the drawing occurred, but Ryan and Lisa both watched the drawing and checked the tickets.
“It took my husband and me a half hour just to check the tickets,” Lisa said. “I noticed we matched three numbers and the Power Ball, but missed the fourth number. I thought we only won $100!”
“I saw that we matched the Power Ball right away and then saw that we matched four other balls too,” Ryan added. “I sent an email to everyone letting them know that we won. I had to preface it with the fact that I was not joking. The number we missed was only one number off from the number on our ticket!”
The group, who work as teacher trainers (and one IT guy), will each receive around $2,000 after taxes. They hail from different counties in Maryland and Virginia.
The winners have a few different ideas of how to spend their winnings, but the general consensus seemed to be vacations ranging from destinations such as Yellowstone National Park and Las Vegas. One winner, Margie, plans on taking her family on a beach trip to South Carolina and donating some of her winnings to her church. Another winner, Carrie, and her husband plan to splurge on a nice dinner in Baltimore.
In addition to the $50,000 prize, the group won an additional $11 on other tickets from the same drawing. After taking a vote, they decided to reinvest it in the next Powerball drawing.
The lucky ticket was purchased at Shady Grove Beer, Wine & Deli in 15904 Shady Grove Rd. in Gaithersburg.