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Group Of 21 Iowa Co-Workers Split $50,000 Powerball Prize

Group's Ticket Was Close To Winning Powerball Jackpot

Hallin' Cash Office Pool

CLIVE, Iowa — A group of 21 co-workers from a Hiawatha engineering firm has claimed a $50,000 prize from Wednesday's huge Powerball® drawing.

The group's ticket was just one number away from having at least a share of that night's $1.248 billion jackpot.

Daniel Zirtzman of Hiawatha, who organized the Powerball office pool at Hall & Hall Engineers Inc., claimed the prize Thursday along with two other members of the group calling itself Hallin' Cash.

"It's just crazy to think that we won!" Zirtzman said. "I don't know, I guess I'm still processing it. And we're definitely going to continue the pool!"

Zirtzman, 23, said he just started his job at the civil engineering firm earlier this year, and he decided to organize a Powerball office pool there last month when the game's jackpot hit $700 million.

"We only have 25 people at our work, and we ended up having 21 people buy in at $10 apiece," he said.

One of the group's tickets matched four of the five white balls and the Powerball in Wednesday's Powerball drawing to win a $50,000 prize. The winning numbers in that night's drawing were 2-11-22-35-60 and Powerball 23. The Power Play® number was 2.

No one won the jackpot that night, so it has climbed to an eye-popping estimate of $1.5 billion annuity, $745.9 million cash option, for Saturday's drawing. That amount is getting close to the Powerball game's record jackpot, which is the largest lottery prize ever offered in North America. That prize of $1.586 billion was won in January 2016.

Zirtzman said that he bought tickets for the group at a convenience store near their office, the Kwik Star at 1800 Blairs Ferry Road NE in Hiawatha. He said he then emailed images of the tickets to everyone in the Hallin' Cash group so they would be able to check the results as well if they wanted to do so.

Zirtzman said he checked the office pool's tickets Thursday morning using the Iowa Lottery's mobile app.

"Usually, what I do is, I just pull into the parking lot at work and then I scan the tickets in my car. So when I walk in, people ask me how much we won," he said.

When the lottery app displayed a prize amount of $50,000 for one of the tickets, Zirtzman said his heart was in his throat.

"I don't think it was really a thought, it was more of a feeling," he said. "I definitely think my heart started racing like crazy and you start sweating a little bit."

He admitted that they may not have been the most productive workplace Thursday morning as the co-workers celebrated their win.

"Everybody was just talking about it," he said. "I walked in there and people started asking questions and stuff.

"I think a lot of time was lost this morning by just talking about the lottery," he said with a laugh.

Interestingly, another Powerball ticket purchased at that same Kwik Star convenience store also won a $50,000 prize in Wednesday's drawing, but it was not among the tickets in the Hallin' Cash office pool. No one has yet claimed the other $50,000 prize.

Zirtzman said he is a bit at a loss for words after the group's big win.

"I'm 23 years old, so this Powerball pool is actually the first time that I've bought Powerball tickets," he said. "It's kind of crazy that this was our fourth pool for this time around. And in four pools, we win $50,000."

Here are members of the Hallin' Cash office pool who are splitting the $50,000 prize.

From Cedar Rapids: Lindsey Broome, Joshua Feldmann, Susan Forinash, Brent Jackman, Matthew Johnson, Kelda Hankins, Todd Kramer, David Sellnau, David Thoma, Rylee Whitters, and Christopher Zubak.

From Hiawatha: Daniel Zirtzman and Brian Vogel.

From Marion: Jason Stone and Christopher Winter.

Along with: Loren Hoffman of Mount Vernon; Andrew Johnson of Ely; Daniel Knipper of Winthrop; Devin Lawson of Manchester; Jason Santee of Tiffin; and Benjamin Vierling of Vinton.

Players in $2 Powerball choose their first five numbers from a pool of 69, and another number – called the Powerball – from a separate pool of 26. The Power Play option is available for an extra $1 per play.

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 Powerball is played by 48 lotteries across the country with drawings at 9:59 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

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