Press Room

Group Of "Lucky Nine" Win $10,000 Mega Millions Prize

Merlin Osbahr Claims Prize from Aug. 20 Mega Millions Drawing

Merlin Osbahr   Hear Merlin tell their story.

DES MOINES, Iowa - An Avoca man claimed a $10,000 Mega Millions® prize on behalf of his group of coworkers, who call themselves the "Lucky Nine."

Merlin Osbahr, 54, said he and his coworkers from the maintenance department at the Iowa Department of Transportation in Avoca were shocked to know how close they came to winning the $100 million jackpot that night.

"We were one digit off. We had 12 and it was 13," Osbahr said.

Osbahr said the coworkers in the group take turns buying the tickets for the pool, and he just happened to pick them up this time. He said the group pools their money to play the big jackpot games when the jackpots get over $80 million.

"I went and got it scanned and they said it was a $10,000-dollar winner. I thought it was pretty good," Osbahr said with a laugh.

Osbahr said the group has been playing together for about five years. They have won small prizes in the past that they've used to put back into the pool for future buys.

Osbahr said he called the others in the group after work when he discovered the win.

"I just told them," Osbahr said. "They couldn't believe it."

Osbahr said he plans to share some of his winnings with his family.

Osbahr claimed the prize Thursday at the Iowa Lottery's regional office in Council Bluffs. He purchased the winning ticket at Nelsen's Mini Mart, 1002 Curtis in Avoca.

The winning numbers in the $100 million Mega Millions drawing on Aug. 20 were: 4-13-20-29-48 and Mega Ball 36. The Megaplier® number that night was 4. The group's ticket matched four white balls and the Mega Ball to win a $10,000 prize. Had they added the Megaplier option to their ticket, the group would have multiplied their $10,000 win by four to win a total of $40,000.