A quintet of coworkers from the Marathon refinery in Catlettsburg have stepped forward to claim their million-dollar prize after hitting five match numbers in a recent Kentucky Lottery Powerball drawing.
The winning ticket, bought at the Shell Food Mart on Greenup Avenue in Ashland, had the correct sequence of numbers for the May 11 drawing, according to lottery officials. The ticket's numbers matched except for the Powerball, which is drawn separately.
The refinery workers told lottery officials that 18 to 20 coworkers at the plant have pooled their money and played Powerball and Mega Millions games for the past 15 years. Joe Fletcher Jr. of Ironton bought their tickets at the Shell Food Mart and checked them Sunday while on lunch. He circled the numbers as they matched.
"When I came to the third number, I was getting nervous. The fourth number I started shaking and the fifth number, I began hyperventilating," Fletcher told lottery officials. Calling out to everyone in the room, he said, "Boys, I think we've hit," although no one seemed to believe him at first. Anthony Evans of Catlettsburg, who is a member of the group, walked over to him and said, "Let me see those numbers." It wasn't long before news of the winning ticket began circulating.
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Lottery officials said the group then tried to figure out how much they'd won, knowing the second non-Powerball prize had changed last year.
"Once they determined it was $1 million, it didn't take them long before they were figuring out how much each person would get," a lottery spokesman reported.
"We were all high-fiving and everyone was very excited," Evans said.
Each member of the group received approximately $38,333 after taxes. Some said they plan to pay off bills. Chris Matney of Kitts Hill said he'll to put his winnings toward his two daughters' college tuitions. The refinery workers said one member who wasn't able to come with them will use his share for medical expenses.