'The Shipping 20' Claim $241 Million Powerball® Jackpot
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DES MOINES, Iowa - A group of 20 co-workers from the shipping department at a Cedar Rapids cereal plant stepped forward Wednesday to claim a $241 million Powerball jackpot, the largest lottery prize won to date in Iowa.
The group laughed that they had the worst-kept secret in the state, as word of their win in the June 13 Powerball drawing had spread like wildfire -- first through the Quaker Oats Co. plant in downtown Cedar Rapids where they worked and then nearly as quickly through the community.
Al, 61, buys the tickets for the group and said he had just recently planned to tell a neighbor the good news, only to learn that the neighbor already knew.
"So, yeah, it's the worst-kept secret, I guess," he said.
The group, which formed a trust calling itself The Shipping 20, chose to receive the jackpot as the lump-sum option of $160.3 million. Members of The Shipping 20 said they have played Powerball together for years, with each person chipping in $5 for tickets, but only when the jackpot was $100 million or higher. Each member of the group - 18 men and two women - each will receive about $8 million ($5.6 million after withholding taxes).
Lawyers for the group stated that the members of The Shipping 20 want their individual names to remain confidential and intend to request an injunction to that effect, which is allowed under Iowa's Open Records law. The lottery believes the names are public and should be disclosed, but understanding the specifics of the law, the lottery has agreed to give the group 10 business days to seek an injunction.
The group's winning ticket is the seventh overall in Iowa to win Powerball's big prize.
Members of the group range in age from 35 to 64 and all live in and around Cedar Rapids. All are long-time employees of the Quaker Oats plant and are members of Local 110 of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union/United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. On the job, they ship out boxes of Quaker Oats cereal from the plant. At least 11 members of the group said they would retire after winning the prize.
Al, who bought the group's tickets, said he has worked at the plant for nearly 30 years and plans to keep working until Sept. 1.
"I feel bad for Quaker. It's a busy time of year so it's going to be hard on the guys who are there, so I kind of feel sorry for them," he said. "I'll stick around as much as I can."
Three other group members also shared their plans:
For this particular drawing, Al bought their tickets at Hy-Vee, 5050 Edgewood Road in Cedar Rapids. One of those tickets beat the odds to win the jackpot.
Hy-Vee will receive a $10,000 bonus from the Iowa Lottery for selling the jackpot-winning ticket and store officials said the money will be shared on that front as well. Store Director Jamie Franck said that because Hy-Vee is an employee-owned company, workers at the store will see some of the store's bonus in their own bonus checks.
"That money will go back to our employees," Franck said. "That goes straight to our bottom line, back to their bonus checks. So they'll reap in those rewards."
The winning numbers in the June 13 Powerball drawing were: 7-10-14-33-57 and Powerball 18. The Shipping 20's ticket matched all six numbers drawn to win the jackpot.
Powerball jackpot winners can choose to receive the big prize in annuitized payments over time or as a one-time, lump-sum payment. The $241 million prize is the 15th-largest Powerball jackpot won to date.
Iowa Lottery players now have won seven Powerball jackpots. The six previous winners are:
Since getting its start in April 1992 in 15 states with jackpots that started at a guaranteed $2 million, Powerball has grown into one of the world's biggest and most recognizable lottery games. Today it's played in 44 jurisdictions across the nation, with players buying more than $3 billion annually in tickets. The biggest jackpot in the game so far was a $365 million prize split by eight co-workers at a Nebraska meat-packing plant in February 2006.
Tickets cost $2 and the Power Play® multiplier feature is available for an extra $1 per play. For that extra $1, players have the chance to win prizes up to $2 million cash for the match 5 prize.
Powerball players choose their first five numbers from a pool of 59 and the Powerball from a separate pool of 35 numbers. The jackpot starts at $40 million and grows until someone wins it. Powerball drawings are held at 9:59 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
|Prize and Tax Details about The Shipping 20's Powerball jackpot|
|Payments Over 30 Years Totaling:||$241 million|
|Annuity would be paid in graduated payments over 30 years.|
|Federal withholding of 25 percent and state withholding of 5 percent would be made on each payment|
|Chosen To Receive As Lump-Sum Option|
|Federal Withholding:||$40.1 million (25 percent)|
|State Withholding:||$8 million (5 percent)|
|After-tax prize:||$112.2 million|
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