Drilling company employees almost hit the jackpot
By Kate Northrop
FREDERICKTOWN, Mo. — A group of 16 coworkers from a drilling company in Missouri hit all five numbers in the Powerball drawing on Nov. 8, just one number shy of the $150 million jackpot.
16 employees at Pense Brothers Drilling Company in Fredericktown are sharing the luck — and the wealth — after winning a $1 million lottery prize in a Powerball drawing one month ago.
At first, the group would play the lottery together every time the jackpot grew large enough for their liking, but for about two years now, they have been putting their heads together very week.
"Some of us have worked together for 20 years," one of the winners explained to the Missouri Lottery. "And we play Powerball together every week."
One of the group members purchased the winning ticket at Casey's General Store on Lincoln Drive in Fredericktown, where Pense Brothers Drilling Company is located. The company specializes in natural gas, oil exploration and water well drilling services throughout North America.
"We check tickets in the morning, and Tuesday morning, the guy that checks them was checking the very first ticket, and he had a blank look on his face, got up and started walking toward us and said, 'it shows we won a million dollars,'" one of the group members told Daily Journal. "Of course we thought he was kidding, and then he showed us his phone. Then another guy checked it with his phone who also had the app, and it showed the same thing."
Some of the winners went through the same procedure of checking their ticket and still could not believe the results. One of the players, Annie Boren, said she was called by her fellow group members and told not to get excited because they were convinced it was a hoax.
Regardless of what they thought, the reality was clear as day — their ticket matched all the white balls drawn on Nov. 8, which were 21, 46, 47, 57, and 62, missing the Powerball 8.
"I never thought we would win anything substantial, just a few bucks here and there," one of the winners admitted. "The money is going into [a] savings account for now, and I'll decide later what to do, maybe go to Disney World."
Among the group of winners are several single men who revealed that they want to plan a singles cruise together. Some others had a more common approach, to tuck the money away in their bank account and maybe splurge on a nice purchase or two.
One of the group members, Sherry Hinkle, is breathing a huge sigh of relief after nearly dropping out of the lottery pool multiple times in a bid to save her money. She received a text from Boren that said "call me" and knew right away that something was amiss.
"I never thought I had a chance at winning the lotto, and I honestly griped so hard each week about giving up my cash for it," Boren confessed. "The men probably wished I would [have] left the pool, but each week I gave my share. I don't really have any plans for the money other than saving the majority of it."
After an even split of the $1 million Powerball prize, each of the 16 winners will receive $62,500 before taxes.
While others might have been thinking about popping champagne bottles, Boren was much too dumbfounded to even think about celebrating.
"The best part of the whole day was watching some of the men I have worked with for years get so excited and the smiles on their faces," Boren said. "These are hardworking men, and they deserve every dime they have won."