Small Town is Big on Lottery Luck Group of 31 from Minnesota Share $200,000 Powerball® Prize
A group of 31 people, who are all regular customers at the Popple Bar in the small town of Laporte, have a big reason to celebrate — the group won a $200,000 Powerball prize on Sept. 26.
Bruce Geckler, who is a bartender at the Popple Bar, has been running the Powerball pool for the last seven years. “It’s a great way to get the community together and have fun,” he said. “It gives them a reason to stop in and see us.”
Thirty-one regulars stopped in to contribute $5 each for the Powerball drawing on Saturday, Sept. 26. The following morning, Geckler checked the group’s tickets and discovered that one of them matched the first five numbers drawn to win a $200,000 prize. “I couldn’t believe it,” Geckler recalled. “You want to win, but you don’t really expect to.”
It didn’t take long for the rest of the group members to discover their windfall. “Almost everyone found out at the bar on Sunday,” explained Geckler. “I’ve never seen the bar so upbeat — everyone was chattering and happy. You could just feel the tempo in the bar lift up.” Laporte Grocery & Meat, located at 20 E. Main St. in Laporte, sold the winning ticket.
Colorado Group Wins $1 Million Power Play Prize
Ball Aerospace in Boulder might be the luckiest company in Colorado. Nine Ball employees won $1 million in the Saturday, September 26th Powerball drawing – the second group of Ball workers to win a major prize on Powerball this year.
Jeff Davis, an aerospace technician at the company, represented the latest batch of Ball winners, claiming the group’s prize in the Colorado Lottery’s Fort Collins office Wednesday morning. The workers won the windfall by matching five numbers in the Powerball drawing and choosing the Power Play option for an extra $1. Players who match five numbers in the Powerball drawing usually win a $200,000 prize, but selecting the Power Play option (for an extra $1) automatically multiplies their winnings by five.
Davis said his co-workers pitch in $4 each for every drawing once the jackpot hits $90 million. The group has been buying tickets collectively for about six months, but the win still took everyone by surprise. In fact, Davis’ son, who is also part of the pool, was convinced that someone was playing a joke on him when he realized that one of the group’s tickets (which Davis had made photocopies of) matched five of the numbers drawn.
“He asked a co-worker to look at and I think they must have looked at it 40 times,” said Davis. “He just really didn’t believe it.” Davis bought his ticket at the Country Corner Store in Hygiene not far from his home. “I can’t tell you how happy they were,” says Davis, who plans to save his windfall. The group works at Ball’s facility in Boulder. In June, Pat Weber and Terry Hutson, co-workers at Ball’s plant in Broomfield, won $200,000 playing Powerball. Davis said the pool will continue despite the big win. He has already purchased $36 worth of tickets for the next drawing. “We’re going to hit the big one,” said Davis. “Lightning strikes twice.”
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