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Quaker Oats workers claim $241 million Powerball jackpot

PowerballPowerball: Quaker Oats workers claim $241 million Powerball jackpot
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Winners hold press conference but don't reveal names

Includes video report

DES MOINES, Iowa — Winners of a $241 million Powerball jackpot, the largest ever won by an Iowa Lottery player, claimed their prize Wednesday in Des Moines, but they refused to identify themselves.

A bus carrying about 50 people from Cedar Rapids pulled up to Iowa Lottery headquarters on Grand Avenue shortly before noon. The group included almost all of the 20 workers from the Quaker Oats plant in Cedar Rapids who jointly purchased the winning ticket as part of pool.

The workers wore red t-shirts and had broad smiles as they got off the bus. They whooped and hollered. Asked how they felt, they responded "Great!" and "Awesome!" Although none would provide their full name, they said they are members of the Retail, Wholesale, Department Store Union Local 110.

Assuming the winners take a lump-sum cash payout, they will each receive $5.6 million after taxes are paid, The total lump-sum payout was about $160 million before state and federal taxes were deducted.

A middle-aged man, who would only say his name was "Al," confirmed that he held the lucky ticket. The entire group then walked behind closed doors inside the Iowa Lottery's offices to validate their ticket and claim their prize money. The workers later held a news conference, appearing before TV cameras, but declining to give their full names, saying they are common people who wanted their privacy to be respected and that they didn't want to be bothered by solicitors.

Joseph Day of Cedar Rapids, a lawyer representing the winners, said he plans to seek a court injunction blocking the Iowa Lottery from releasing the winners' names to the public. Iowa Lottery Chief Executive Officer Terry Rich said the lottery believes the winners' names are public and should be disclosed. He said the lottery has given the group 10 business days to seek an injunction. The Des Moines Register and the Cedar Rapids Gazette made requests to Iowa Lottery officials for the names to be released under Iowa's Open Records law.

Rich said he wasn't aware of any situation previous where the Iowa Lottery had not made the name of a lottery winner public.

The winners were showered with confetti thrown by Iowa Lottery employees as they entered the news conference while friends and family members cheered. Some plan to retire immediately, one said he had purchased a couple of cars that he needed and another said he had plans to travel to Alaska. Earlier, lottery officials played a country western tune written and recorded by one of the winners' co-workers, which was titled, "Calling in Rich."

The union which represents the workers issued a statement saying that the Quaker Oats workers, who would only be identified as the "Shipping 20," were withholding their names for "legal reasons." They range in age from 35 to 64, and their years of service range from ten years to forty years per employee. Collectively, they have more put in more than 640 years of service at the unionized plant.

They have been buying Powerball tickets for the past fifteen years and finally hit the jackpot this year, the union said.

Together, they are thinking about how to contribute in a positive way to their Local 110 union family and to community initiatives that will benefit residents in and around Cedar Rapids, the union statement said.

"The union has stood up for us, on and off the job, and brought us together as one family. We've been through a lot together, especially since the flood of 2008, and this has given us a renewed appreciation for our union values," said one of the unidentified Powerball winners, a long-time worker at the plant, who was quoted in the union's statement.

The flood of 2008 in Cedar Rapids affected the shipping department and all other areas of the plant, and since then the 20 workers have jointly put in many extra hours in order to get the massive water-damaged facility up and running again, the union said. The statement said they know the important and historic role the Quaker Oats plant has played in Iowa's economy for decades.

"These guys have worked very hard for many years, and they want to use their good fortune to make life better for others at the plant and in their community. This is a great American story but also a great union story. These are some of the most decent and generous people you'll ever meet, and all of our members couldn't be happier for them," said Al Hartl Jr., president of Local 110.

The winning ticket was from a Powerball drawing held June 13. The ticket was sold at a Hy-Vee grocery store on Edgewood Road in Cedar Rapids, and there has been intense speculation since then over the winners' identity.

The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in 175.2 million.

The winning numbers were 7, 10, 14, 33, and 57, with Powerball number 18. The jackpot ticket matched all six numbers drawn.

Iowa's biggest previous jackpot winners were Tim and Kellie Guderian of Fort Dodge, who claimed a $200.8 million prize in October 2006. The biggest jackpot ever for Powerball was a $365 million prize shared in February 2006 by eight co-workers at a ConAgra ham processing plant in Lincoln, Neb.

This was the seventh time a Powerball jackpot ticket has been sold in Iowa, but it's the fifth time the Iowa Lottery has sold a Powerball ticket worth at least $1 million since the game was redesigned in January. Those changes doubled the price of a Powerball ticket to $2 from $1, while providing more chances to win at least $1 million.

Iowa represents only 1 to 2 percent of total revenue in the Powerball game, which is played in 44 jurisdictions nationwide with total sales of more than $3 billion annually. Rich said the Iowa Lottery had been hoping to have four to six winners of at least $1 million annually under the new Powerball rules, but what's happened since January already has exceeded his expectations.

VIDEO: Powerball winners arrive at Iowa Lottery headquarters

http://media.lpimg.com/2012062106.mp4

VIDEO: Bus driver speaks about the 20 winners

http://media.lpimg.com/2012062107.mp4

PHOTO: The winners pose for a group photo

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

DOCUMENTS: Legal documents for the "Powerball Shipping 20"

See the Related Links section below to view four legal documents used by the 20 Quaker Oats workers to claim their prize without revealing their names.

Des Moines Register, Lottery Post Staff

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39 comments. Last comment 2 years ago by sully16.
Page 1 of 3

United States
Member #111446
May 25, 2011
6323 Posts
Offline
Posted: June 21, 2012, 10:19 am - IP Logged

Hurray for the shipping 20!!!  Hurray!  5.6 million after taxes, what a great story. Decent folks who want to give back to their community and local union.

Another feather in the cap of pro-pool advocates.

 

This is an unusual case where all twenty are seeking in injunction to prevent their names being given to the public. Should be interesting to

follow this one, particularly where Iowa is not an anonymous state.  Roll Eyes

    Avatar
    Monkey Butt, USA
    United States
    Member #54569
    August 23, 2007
    1124 Posts
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    Posted: June 21, 2012, 10:42 am - IP Logged

    Congrats to the winners.

    Glad to see that they had a strong union that represented them instead of crawling into bed with management.

      maximumfun's avatar - Lottery-064.jpg

      United States
      Member #124621
      March 16, 2012
      1484 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: June 21, 2012, 10:52 am - IP Logged

      Congrats to the winners.  what fun!  whoo-hoo!

        hearsetrax's avatar - 78638c467ef281febf24383e126f74b6

        United States
        Member #52345
        May 21, 2007
        1863 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: June 21, 2012, 12:35 pm - IP Logged

        Hurray for the shipping 20!!!  Hurray!  5.6 million after taxes, what a great story. Decent folks who want to give back to their community and local union.

        Another feather in the cap of pro-pool advocates.

         

        This is an unusual case where all twenty are seeking in injunction to prevent their names being given to the public. Should be interesting to

        follow this one, particularly where Iowa is not an anonymous state.  Roll Eyes

        running gag is that .... should be curious to see how this plays out ..... but am curious how much the lawyer/s are gonna want if they succeed

          RedStang's avatar - 20130829 151641_zps3qbxhhqb.jpg
          Dutchess NY
          United States
          Member #121966
          January 21, 2012
          2640 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: June 21, 2012, 12:54 pm - IP Logged

          Finally hit after 15yrs. Tomorrow never knows.

            Avatar

            United States
            Member #94618
            July 24, 2010
            4559 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: June 21, 2012, 1:00 pm - IP Logged

            Nice to see a LARGE jackpot shared with alot of people.  Eaching getting enough to make most of there dreams come true! 

              LottoPools's avatar - bee
              Houston, TX
              United States
              Member #4496
              April 29, 2004
              70 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: June 21, 2012, 1:25 pm - IP Logged

              Glad to see a pool win.  Hope none of mine take that long to hit.  Love the document samples for reference when we do win.

               

              It will be interesting to see how the anonymity request turns out.

              ________________________

              Playing together to make a splash in the pool of lottery winners.  It's just a matter of time.


                United States
                Member #111446
                May 25, 2011
                6323 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: June 21, 2012, 1:27 pm - IP Logged

                running gag is that .... should be curious to see how this plays out ..... but am curious how much the lawyer/s are gonna want if they succeed

                Truthfully I don't think the lawyer(s) will succeed against the state. This would set a huge precedent for all other states which currently require public

                disclosure of identity. To win a case like this, would be a landmark change in the present state statute lottery laws.    Smash 

                 

                As far as fees, hopefully the "shipping twenty" were insightful enough to require a proposal from the law firm, which should also require a cap, to

                prevent exorbitant expenses and greedy last minute surcharges.   Red Devil    In the end I'm sure they had already weighed the benefits of anonymity,

                verses the legal cost to achieve this legal hurdle. (which again I do not think is possible).

                 

                As you say though hearse, should be very interesting to see how this all plays out.  Lurking

                  dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
                  Oklahoma
                  United States
                  Member #82391
                  November 12, 2009
                  5344 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: June 21, 2012, 2:00 pm - IP Logged

                  Congratulations to ALL the winners.......Hurray!

                  I Love Pink & Green 1908

                    Avatar
                    Las Vegas
                    United States
                    Member #119217
                    November 17, 2011
                    16 Posts
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                    Posted: June 21, 2012, 3:12 pm - IP Logged

                    I agree that it is an uphill battle to prevail in court.  They have one potential angle that could work.  We hear time and again that the rationale for disclosing names is to create confidence in the buying public that it is real people winning.  They can argue that all the publicity over the years has eliminated that need and the state no longer has a compelling interest to disclose names.  If the state no longer has a compelling interest, then the privacy rights of the winners could trump the state's right to publicity.  If a judge weighs the two interests, he (or she) could rule for the lottery winners.  It is a longshot, of course.

                      dpoly1's avatar - driver
                      PA
                      United States
                      Member #66141
                      October 16, 2008
                      1447 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: June 21, 2012, 3:28 pm - IP Logged

                      Glad to see a pool win.  Hope none of mine take that long to hit.  Love the document samples for reference when we do win.

                       

                      It will be interesting to see how the anonymity request turns out.

                      Congrats to them!
                      I hope the next big Jackpot goes to one person!

                      dpoly1 - Playing the lottery to save the jobs of those that build, transport, sell & maintain luxury items! -

                       

                      Eschew Poverty ........... Vote Conservative!

                        Avatar
                        Seattle, Washington
                        United States
                        Member #121158
                        January 3, 2012
                        87 Posts
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                        Posted: June 21, 2012, 3:38 pm - IP Logged

                        Thaht's really interesting; I hope the judge grants the injunction.  Maybe this will be the beginning of the end of states FORCING winners to be made public figures, which leads to all sorts of disasterous problems that can ruin their lives.

                          Avatar
                          New York, NY
                          United States
                          Member #13514
                          April 7, 2005
                          233 Posts
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                          Posted: June 21, 2012, 4:23 pm - IP Logged

                          Congratulations to all the winners. I give them their due for wanting to keep their last name private.  I'm very annoyed with the attitude by the Lottery big wigs who feel full names have to be revealed.  People should have a right to want to keep their names private after they win.

                            Cletu$2's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
                            S.E.Iowa
                            United States
                            Member #120509
                            December 21, 2011
                            534 Posts
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                            Posted: June 21, 2012, 4:52 pm - IP Logged

                            Congrats to them!
                            I hope the next big Jackpot goes to one person!

                            Me,for instance!

                            When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it. ~Clarence Darrow

                            There ought to be one day - just one - when there is open season on senators. ~Will Rogers