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20 co-workers at Tennessee manufacturing plant to split $421M Powerball jackpot

| Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016, 10:51 p.m.

NASHVILLE — Tennessee Lottery officials say 20 co-workers at a metal manufacturing plant will split a Powerball jackpot of nearly $421 million.

The Tennessean reports lottery officials announced Tuesday that the workers from North American Stamping Group in Portland claimed the $420.9 million jackpot. The cash value of the jackpot is worth $254 million, which would give each person $12.7 million before taxes.

Tennessee Lottery officials said the winning ticket, which matched all six Powerball numbers drawn Saturday, was sold by Smoke Shop Inc. owner Joyce Gregory in Lafayette in Macon County — a city of about 5,000 residents that is about 60 miles northeast of Nashville.

“I am really tickled. ... It's really going to help our town,” said Gregory, who scored $25,000 for selling the winning ticket.

The ticket is the 200th sold by the Tennessee Lottery worth $1 million or more, and the win marked the second-largest prize for the Tennessee Lottery. The first was the $528.8 million prize won by a Munford, Tenn., family in January as its share of the largest lottery jackpot ever. They were one of three ticket holders to claim the $1.6 billion jackpot.

“You never think you're going to win this lottery, but you do it for fun,” Amy O'Neal said of the winning group self-dubbed “The Tennessee 20,” who have been playing the lotto for eight years.

The group, she said, buys $120 worth of tickets every Wednesday and Saturday to support education and the state.

O'Neal, who lives in Lafayette and bought the ticket for the group, said she didn't check the ticket Saturday night.

Thinking it was a million in one chance to win, she went to bed.

The next morning, her son learned the ticket was purchased in Lafayette. He and her husband immediately woke her to the news.

“They were shaking me and shaking me. ... I went in and grabbed my tickets. It was the third one,” O'Neil said. “I just started screaming. I had to look again, I thought I was in a dream.”

O'Neal said when she alerted her colleagues they didn't believe her at first.

“They were like, ‘Oh my gosh, Amy, shut up, we're not going to work today.' Everybody was just screaming. Just the joy.”

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