News came earlier this week that a single Powerball ticket had matched all five balls plus the Powerball to scoop the US lottery’s ninth biggest ever jackpot. What wasn’t clear, however, was that a total of 20 players each had a stake in the ticket, and would be sharing the prize between them.
The group of winners, who work for the North American Stamping Group, an auto parts manufacturing plant based in Nashville, have been dubbed “The Tennessee 20” after it was announced by Powerball officials that they had won the prize.
"You never think you're going to win this lottery, but you do it for fun," said Amy O'Neal, one of the lucky ticket troupe. They have been playing Powerball for eight years, buying $120 worth of tickets for each week’s two draws in support of the educational projects supported by Lottery Tennessee.
But when it was announced that the sole winning ticket had been purchased in Lafayette, Tennessee — a town with a population of barely 5,000 — O’Neal knew that there was a very good chance that her group were the ones who had hit the jackpot.
”I went in and grabbed my tickets. It was the third one," O'Neil said. "I just started screaming. I had to look again, I thought I was in a dream." She then called her co-workers to let them know that they were all millionaires. “Everybody was just screaming,” she said. “Just the joy."
With money troubles now a thing of the past for the team, it looks like they will be keeping those in the local area in mind when it comes to spending their newfound wealth. “Now we can do more and help more,“ O’Neal told reporters. “There's going to be a lot of people blessed."
The jackpots for this weekend’s Powerball and Mega Millions draws currently stand at $54 million and $30 million, respectively. Good luck to you, whether you’re a single player or part of a syndicate!