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.
Missouri Group Claims $10,000 Prize
A group of fellow employees has stepped forward to claim one of the eight $10,000 prizes won in Missouri for the Oct. 3rd Powerball drawing. Eight co-workers from the Missouri Air National Guard at Jefferson Barracks have been playing the Lottery together for two or three years, according to Julia Bauer, who spoke on behalf of the group.
"Each of us put in $2 a drawing," explained Bauer. "I go in on Wednesday and buy for both Wednesday and Saturday at the same time. They're the same number, quick pick." While the group has had some luck winning $3 or $7 in the past, this was their biggest win to date. "I went online and wrote down the numbers," recalled Bauer. "The first thing I usually go check for is the Powerball. And I go, 'Look, we got the Powerball. There's another one, and another one, and another one. "We had four white-ball numbers and the Powerball."
News of their win began to spread Sunday afternoon, and the group traveled to the St. Louis Lottery office on Monday to claim their prize. Each member will receive an equal share of the $10,000 prize. The eight winners are: William Dawson, Arnold; Mary Clubb, House Springs; Virginia Todd, Hillsboro; Arthur Schuermann, Carol Wheeler, Michael Rangel and William Reibe, all of St. Louis; and Julia Bauer of St. Paul. Bauer purchased the tickets for the group at Petro Mart, 2701 Telegraph Road, in St. Louis. She indicated that plans for the money ranged from vacations to paying bills. "One of the girls said her dryer just went out. And we had one that just retired," she said. Now that they've won a big prize, don't expect them to stop. Bauer said, "They are already giving me money for next month."
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