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Ornery dog leads to $1M lottery win

PowerballPowerball: Ornery dog leads to $1M lottery win
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SALT LAKE CITY — A group of blue collar University of Utah workers will split $1 million in lottery winnings thanks to a set of keys left in a truck and an ornery little dog named "Stella."

Thirteen years after playing the same set of numbers every month in the Idaho lottery, the group of 33 workers who work on heating and cooling university buildings hit pay dirt when Steve Hughes left his truck running to keep his dog "Stella" warm while he went inside to a gas station near Lava Hot Springs, Idaho, on Jan. 6. Utah has no lottery.

When he returned to his truck, his miniature pinscher had locked him out by putting her paw on the manual lock. Hughes, 29, planned to buy the ticket elsewhere, but instead he had his girlfriend buy it there while he tried to open the door with a slim jim.

He eventually coached Stella to put her paws on the electronic window button in the back seat, allowing Hughes to get in the car.

What seemed like an annoying delay that day turned out to be serendipitous when the group discovered Wednesday night that they had won second prize in the Idaho Powerball. They announced the great news during a morning meeting Thursday morning at the HVAC shop at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Hughes thought it was a joke — looking for the camera filming the prank.

"It was pretty exciting," said Richard Tison, 50, the supervisor.

About 25 members of the group made the 5 1/2-hour trip on a charter bus to Boise, Idaho, on Friday to turn in their winning ticket and collect their checks. The rest had to stay behind to make sure the university's buildings were toasty on the cold winter day, Tison said.

It was a raucous ride on the bus, with the crew making it a "party bus" atmosphere as they celebrated their good fortune. After collecting their money, the group planned to climb back on board the bus for the journey home — though some suggested they might stop off at a watering hole in Boise to contemplate their winnings.

Tison and Hughes say they will each get about $20,000 after taxes, or as Hughes said, "A nice little bonus during the year."

Hughes plans to save half of his share and buy a four-wheeler. Many in the group plan to buy four-wheelers or drag cars, he said. Some are going to save or invest it.

"I'm going to pay off some bills and probably get me a boat," Tison said.

Hughes' dog, "Stella," didn't get to go on Friday's "party bus" but the lucky winners had previously made sure she was rewarded.

"She got a couple of big surprises when I got home," Hughes said. "She got 18-inch rawhide bones."

The group began buying the tickets in February 2001 with just three people. The pool grew to 33 people, but the philosophy of using the same numbers never changed.

Recently, some in the group suggested they change the numbers — fed up with 13 years of futility. But Tison, one of the original three, insisted they stay the course. Hughes estimates that they've each put in $200 to $400 over the years, depending on how long they've been in the group.

Tison said they plan to keep playing the Idaho Powerball, taking turns making the monthly 1 1/2-hour drive to Malad, Idaho, to pick up a ticket.

And yes, Tison says they'll keep playing the same numbers: 11-16-33-40-41.

"There is no need to change them," Tison said. "It worked once, why wouldn't it work again."

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

AP

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56 comments. Last comment 2 years ago by rdgrnr.
Page 1 of 4
dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
Oklahoma
United States
Member #82391
November 12, 2009
5397 Posts
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Posted: February 11, 2013, 8:26 am - IP Logged

Congratulations to the winners.... WTG StellaHurray!

I Love Pink & Green 1908

    rock_nc's avatar - Lottery-017.jpg
    small town USA
    United States
    Member #2481
    October 8, 2003
    196 Posts
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    Posted: February 11, 2013, 8:55 am - IP Logged

    Congratulation to all the winners! You know I was in a group for almost as long as that, close to 10 years at my work, we only had 10 folks in our group. We did play one set of numbers along with our quick picks too. But it never won us anything with them numbers. The most we every won playing all them years, was about 150.00 dollars. We took turns driving to Virginia to buy the tickets, that was before nc and sc had the lottery. I remember the time ole Jack Whittaker won the Jackpot, we went to VA and bought 200.00 dollars worth of tickets for that draw. But it didn't play out for us, we won I think about 30.00 dollars total on them tickets. But it was fun playing while it lasted.

    Then SC got the lottery, we was happy about that, still had little wins here and there, nothing to bragg about, put the money back in the pot and buy more tickets with it. Then NC got the lottery, Played it until I left the company.  But things change, and you must move on.

      joshuacloak's avatar - avatar 23415.gif

      United States
      Member #32537
      February 12, 2006
      640 Posts
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      Posted: February 11, 2013, 9:37 am - IP Logged

      i don't see how the hell dog had  anything 2 do with it

      now if it was A QP ,then u can say dog X leaded 2 win

      but they don't do QP, they pick there own numbers

      it does NOT matter where they got the tickets, long as they got the tickets for that draw

       

       they always play same numbers,

      they would of had numbers played for that draw regardless of that dog lockout

      the  group had already paid for the tickets,

      he was going 2 get them same numbers any where else before draw

       

      , so how the hell is dog leading 2 the win?!

      also gg being locked put by your own dog

      sup

        whiteballz's avatar - Lottery-015.jpg
        Nutley, New Jersey
        United States
        Member #131063
        August 1, 2012
        789 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: February 11, 2013, 9:41 am - IP Logged

        "The pool grew to 33 people, but the philosophy of using the same numbers never changed."

        If they won using numbers they picked, how does the fact that the dog locked the guy out of the truck make any difference? I mean if they won with Quick Picks then I'd understand because going to a different place to buy the ticket and buying the ticket at a different time may have resulted in different numbers but like the article said they played numbers they picked themselves so it wouldn't have mattered where they bought the ticket.

        .

          maringoman's avatar - kobold
          Massachusetts
          United States
          Member #37433
          April 14, 2006
          2088 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: February 11, 2013, 9:47 am - IP Logged

          Thirteen years after playing the same set of numbers every month in the Idaho lottery, the group of 33 workers who work on heating and cooling university buildings hit pay dirt

          That sentence gives me some confidence that my numbers, which I have played on and off for 7 years, will one day hit pay dirt. 

          And yes, Tison says they'll keep playing the same numbers: 11-16-33-40-41.

          Is that very smart? o_O

          It's a futile effort.


            United States
            Member #116272
            September 7, 2011
            20244 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: February 11, 2013, 9:54 am - IP Logged

            i don't see how the hell dog had  anything 2 do with it

            now if it was A QP ,then u can say dog X leaded 2 win

            but they don't do QP, they pick there own numbers

            it does NOT matter where they got the tickets, long as they got the tickets for that draw

             

             they always play same numbers,

            they would of had numbers played for that draw regardless of that dog lockout

            the  group had already paid for the tickets,

            he was going 2 get them same numbers any where else before draw

             

            , so how the hell is dog leading 2 the win?!

            also gg being locked put by your own dog

            I Agree! I was thinking the same thing.


              United States
              Member #116272
              September 7, 2011
              20244 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: February 11, 2013, 9:55 am - IP Logged

              Sounds like a drinking party was planned at the "watering hole"


                United States
                Member #116272
                September 7, 2011
                20244 Posts
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                Posted: February 11, 2013, 9:57 am - IP Logged

                Thirteen years after playing the same set of numbers every month in the Idaho lottery, the group of 33 workers who work on heating and cooling university buildings hit pay dirt

                That sentence gives me some confidence that my numbers, which I have played on and off for 7 years, will one day hit pay dirt. 

                And yes, Tison says they'll keep playing the same numbers: 11-16-33-40-41.

                Is that very smart? o_O

                Now that the numbers are public, I may add them to the list that I play.

                  whiteballz's avatar - Lottery-015.jpg
                  Nutley, New Jersey
                  United States
                  Member #131063
                  August 1, 2012
                  789 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: February 11, 2013, 10:02 am - IP Logged

                  Thirteen years after playing the same set of numbers every month in the Idaho lottery, the group of 33 workers who work on heating and cooling university buildings hit pay dirt

                  That sentence gives me some confidence that my numbers, which I have played on and off for 7 years, will one day hit pay dirt. 

                  And yes, Tison says they'll keep playing the same numbers: 11-16-33-40-41.

                  Is that very smart? o_O

                  Personally, I wouldn't play them because what are the chances those same numbers will be picked again in our lifetime. I would think very slim. If these numbers were picked again in the next draw then that would be a real news story.

                  .

                    maringoman's avatar - kobold
                    Massachusetts
                    United States
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                    April 14, 2006
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                    Posted: February 11, 2013, 10:02 am - IP Logged

                    Now that the numbers are public, I may add them to the list that I play.

                    Really? I suppose they stand as small a chance as any other set of numbers but playing them again in the same game? I would probably play them in MM


                      United States
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                      September 7, 2011
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                      Posted: February 11, 2013, 10:11 am - IP Logged

                      Personally, I wouldn't play them because what are the chances those same numbers will be picked again in our lifetime. I would think very slim. If these numbers were picked again in the next draw then that would be a real news story.

                      If that case I will play them on the next draw for sure in case that happens. After all, any single combination has just as good a chance as any other single combination. Let the super duper double scooper begin. lol.


                        United States
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                        September 7, 2011
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                        Posted: February 11, 2013, 10:12 am - IP Logged

                        Really? I suppose they stand as small a chance as any other set of numbers but playing them again in the same game? I would probably play them in MM

                        I play the same lines on both games anyway, so I'm covered there.

                          noise-gate's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcR91HDs4UJhjxO7cmeMQWZ5lB_FOcMLOGicau4V74R45tDgPWrr
                          Bay Area/ California
                          United States
                          Member #136482
                          December 12, 2012
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                          Posted: February 11, 2013, 10:26 am - IP Logged

                          Like l always says-
                          Whats good for the goose is good for the gander..
                          Oh Stella..

                          You go dog.Hyper


                            United States
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                            September 7, 2011
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                            Posted: February 11, 2013, 10:29 am - IP Logged

                            Hot-diggity-dog!!Banana (or banana)