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13 State Employees to Share $224 Million Powerball Lottery Jackpot

Apr 14, 2006, 6:44 am

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A group of 13 Missouri state employees, who work for the Department of Social Services Family Support Division/Child Support Enforcement in Florissant, claimed the $224.2 million Powerball jackpot from the April 12 drawing.

The jackpot is the largest prize ever won in the Missouri Lottery's 20-year history and the seventh largest Powerball jackpot ever awarded in the nation.

The winners are: Cornelia Aversa, 61, of Ballwin; Juanita Miller, 57, of Black Jack; Madeleine Knox, 68, James Wydrzynski, 53, and Sandra Hayes, 46, all of Florissant; Kathey Tidwell, 54, of Highland, Ill.; Kathy Bowman, 48, of Roxana, Ill.; Marjorie Orcutt, 56,; Donna Paige, 44, Georgia Griffin, 57, Alice Williams, 58, and Robin Carlton, 36, all of St. Louis; and Michael Lang, 55, of St. Peters.

According to Jim Wydrzynski, the office manager, 11 of the members put $5 into the pool and two members — Alice Williams and Georgia Griffin — contributed $2.50. The jackpot prize will be split 12 ways, and William and Griffin will share 1/12 of the prize.

All of the members plan to take the cash amount, which works out to be approximately $8.5 million each before taxes for the 11 members who contributed $5 and approximately $4.2 million before taxes for the two members who contributed $2.50.

Wydrzynski said that for each drawing, new groups are formed depending on who would like to play, and employees take turns buying the tickets. Child Support Specialist Robin Carlton bought the group's winning Quick Pick tickets at QuikTrip, 2791 Dunn Road in St. Louis.

The six winning numbers were: 16, 26, 34, 35, 41 and the Powerball number was 24.

"I think everybody's life will be changed," said Wydrzynski. "One employee was going to retire May 1, so this kind of fits in with her plans.

"I'm not sure yet what I will do," said Wydrzynski. "I'm still trying to get over my shock. I think we want to pay off all our bills. I would like to visit my brother who lives in Australia."

Wydrzynski said three of the group's members found out about the win on Wednesday night, and none of them got any sleep. Those three showed up the next morning at the office to inform the other 10 members about their good fortune.

In addition to the group's win, QuikTrip will receive a $50,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.

During this jackpot run, which began Feb. 19, the Missouri Lottery sold approximately $22 million in Powerball tickets, and approximately $8.6 million of those sales will go to Missouri's public education programs.

The Missouri Lottery is ranked second among the 30 Powerball member lotteries in terms of the number of jackpot winners with 24. Powerball jackpots won in Missouri total nearly $1 billion.

To date, there have been 211 jackpots worth $1 million sold by the Missouri Lottery since it began in 1986.

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