Valerie Dempster of O’Neill and 10 of her coworkers won $50,000 playing Powerball from the Nebraska Lottery.
Dempster is the assistant administrator at The Evergreen Assisted Living center in O'Neill and a 1972 Orchard High School graduate.
The co-workers purchased their winning ticket from Fast Mart at 202 East Douglas Street in O’Neill. The winning ticket contained one play that matched four out of the five winning numbers (03, 21, 45, 53, 56) with the winning Powerball number (22) from the October 24 drawing.
When she came to claim the group’s prize at the Nebraska Lottery Lincoln office, Dempster said she originally thought that they’d have to split the $50,000 prize with the three other winners from the drawing, but was delighted to find out they got the whole amount.
“I’m totally shocked,” she said. “I love it.”
The group bought their tickets on a whim at the last minute for the drawing, Dempster said, and she locked the tickets in her desk for safe keeping.
Word made its way through the office that a $50,000 winning Powerball ticket had been sold at the same convenience store they got theirs at. Dempster said a circle of coworkers formed around her desk before she arrived to unlock it.
The 11 coworkers are splitting the check evenly and, after taxes, they’ll be walking away with about $3,000 each, which will make sure everyone has a merry Christmas, Dempster said.
“I didn’t think it would ever happen,” she said. “I’m a believer now.”
Powerball is a multi-state jackpot game currently offered by 44 state lotteries, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands. The odds of winning $1 million playing Powerball are 1 in 11,688,053 while the overall odds of winning any prize are 1 in 24.9.