DES MOINES, Iowa — A group of 10 co-workers from a Des Moines tire-manufacturing plant stepped forward Monday to claim a $1 million Powerball prize they'd won with a ticket purchased a local convenience store.
The co-workers who all produce agricultural tires at the Des Moines Firestone plant are calling themselves "The Local 310 Ten" because they're all members of Local 310 of the United Steelworkers Union. They've pooled their money to buy Powerball tickets together for about five years and made for a happy bunch as news of their good fortune spread.
"I've been coming to grips with it since 11:15 p.m. Saturday night when I called in and read the numbers and was actually disappointed because we didn't have any Powerballs on our ticket," said Dan Kelley of Urbandale, who buys the group's tickets. "And low and behold, there it was on the bottom line, the last one on the ticket. And I just had to sit back and take a deep breath and call the Iowa Lottery once again to double-check my numbers on the verification line."
Kelley bought the group's winning ticket at Casey's, 4560 E. 14th St. in Des Moines. It was the only ticket in the nation to win a $1 million prize in Saturday's drawing.
When the Powerball game was redesigned in January, one of the changes made was specifically for the prize you win if your ticket matches the first five numbers and you've added the Power Play. The prize for that play is always $1 million, no matter what the Power Play number is for that drawing.
Kelley's wife, Susan, won a $100,000 Powerball prize in 2005 and hadn't added the Power Play to her ticket, so her prize wasn't multiplied. Kelley said that's when the group decided to start playing the Power Play.
Don Root, 56, of Ankeny, is another member of the group. He said he found out about their good fortune about 5 a.m. Sunday when Kelley called him, rousing him from sleep to tell him how much they'd won.
"He said we'd won and he told me how much. I just kind of said, 'Yeah," and I hung the phone up," Root said. "I went over and sat down and kind of realized what he'd told me and the adrenaline kind of hit. It took about 20 minutes to hit and then I realized what he'd actually said."
After taxes, each member of the group received $70,000. Root said he planned to put his money straight into savings.
The Local 310 Ten claimed Iowa's second $1 million-winning Powerball ticket this month and its fourth this year.
Last week, a retired Des Moines man won a $1 million Powerball prize by adding the Power Play option to his ticket. Richard J. Smith, 84, of Des Moines bought his winning ticket at a West Des Moines supermarket.
In August, two couples who were camping at the Iowa State Fair won a $1 million prize by adding the Power Play option to their Powerball ticket. Rick Hamilton and Sharon Sulser, both from Chariton, and Vickie and Terry Chambers, both from nearby Columbia, split the $1 million prize they won with a ticket they purchased while making an ice run to a Pleasant Hill gas station.
And in February, a Marshalltown man won a $1 million prize by adding the Power Play option to his Powerball ticket. Ricky Rushton, who worked in the cafeteria at the Swift & Co. pork-processing plant in Marshalltown, bought his $1 million-winning ticket at a Marshalltown convenience store.
The winning numbers in Saturday's $25 million Powerball drawing were: 13-32-45-49-50 and Powerball 30. No one won Saturday's jackpot, so it increases to an estimated $30 million for Wednesday.
Lottery CEO Terry Rich said Iowa's four $1 million Powerball winners this year show that the updates to the game are delivering what players want: continued big jackpots, but the chance to win other big prizes as well.
"Iowa has really been riding high in the wave when it comes to Powerball millionaires," Rich said. "We think more people are aware of the Power Play option – and it pays off when they win $1 million rather than $200,000 for an extra $1."
As the group claimed its prize Monday, the members of The Local 310 Ten were pooling their money to buy more tickets for Wednesday's drawing. As always, Kelley checked off the names in the pool in his notebook.
"We've all got a bond because we're after the same goal and that's products made in America and to keep America going," he said.
The members of The Local 310 Ten are: Dan Kelley Jr. of Urbandale; Tony Link, James Dorr and Richard Harter, all of Des Moines; Patrick McNaney of Berwick; Tom Cavanaugh, Donald Root and Wesley Beeghly, all of Ankeny; Bruce Michael of Altoona; and Donald Maas of Stuart.
Since the Iowa Lottery's start in 1985, its players have won more than $2.4 billion in prizes while the lottery has raised nearly $1.2 billion for state programs.
Prize: $1 million
Federal Withholding: $250,000
State Withholding: $50,000
Cash Amount: $700,000