JANUARY 15, 2016
The first thing winner did after picking up $1M – give blood
What’s the first thing Linda Windey did after picking up her ceremonial $1 million lottery check?
She stopped at a blood drive.
Others in Windey’s position might have been making extravagant dreams a reality.
She stopped at a Red Cross Bloodmobile that was parked in front of Kentucky Lottery headquarters on Main Street in Louisville, took a needle to the arm and gave blood.
“It just made sense. I had a million dollars fall out of the sky,” said Windey of Clermont County, who bought her winning ticket at Cincinnati South Travel Center on Richmond Road in Walton.
The single mother of three children ages 10 to 17, was one of three from Kentucky to come away with $1 million – the second-tier prize – for matching the five white balls but not the red Powerball in the Wednesday evening drawing that offered an unprecedented jackpot of nearly $1.6 billion. Winning tickets worth $1 million were also sold in Ohio and Indiana. A Goshen woman also won that sum in a Saturday drawing.
Windey matched the five white balls, but her winning ticket incorrectly had 26 as the Powerball. The magic combination was 4, 8, 19, 27, 34 and Powerball 10.
Windey has no grand designs for spending the money she won, and she doesn’t plan to stop working.
Rather, she wants to spend wisely and provide for her children.
“It’s the wrong time to be irresponsible,” said Windey, who drove her family to Louisville on Thursday to claim the prize.
Windey, 41, of Parish, New York, was living with her brother in Bethel so she could work a temporary job at the eBay distribution center in Walton. She has worked as a nurse in the past.
She said during a 10 a.m. news conference she’s had financial struggles.
“I’m just thinking I can take better care of my kids now,” said Windey, a longtime lottery player.
Windey bought her winning ticket at the the Cincinnati South Travel Center on Richmond Road in Walton. The store will get a $10,000 bonus from the Kentucky Lottery for selling the ticket, said lottery spokesman Chip Polston.
Winners in 3 states to split record $1.6B Powerball jackpot
Windey’s 17-year-old son, Edward Blunt, said his mother had played the lottery for as long as he could remember, but never won more than $20 on a single ticket.
The idea of winning became a running joke between him and his mom, Edward said.
Given that, when Windey woke Edward about 2:30 a.m. Thursday with the news of their bounty, he wasn’t buying it. It had to be a continuation of the old joke, he said.
“I just went back to bed,” said Edward. “I didn’t believe it.”
Windey didn’t believe it either at first.
“I checked the numbers six or seven times,” Windey said. “I thought I entered the numbers in wrong.”
The Wednesday Powerball lottery drawing saw jackpot-winning tickets sold in California, Florida and Tennessee.
Meanwhile, Goshen Township resident Victoria Shoopman has claimed a $1 million prize from the Saturday Powerball drawing.
Shoopman takes $710,000 after taxes, and told Powerball officials she plans to become a homeowner.
Shoopman’s daughter, Stacy, purchased the winning ticket at Smokes and Things at 6725 A. Dickflynn Blvd. in Goshen. The retailer receives a $1,000 bonus for selling the winning “5-of-5” ticket.
Another “5-of-5” ticket from the Jan. 9 drawing was sold in Milford at a Speedway on Ohio 131, according to the Powerball website. The holder of that ticket ticket hasn’t come forward.
By Patrick Brennan
The Kentucky Enquirer
‘Tiny Tornadoes’ celebrate winning $1 million prize
They call themselves the Tiny Tornadoes, 11 Paducah Head Start preschool employees who together lucked into one of the three $1 million Powerball tickets sold in Kentucky.
“They each deserve this more than anyone will know,” said Kristy Lewis, Paducah Head Start director. Though not herself one of the lucky 11, Lewis was thrilled. “This is such a blessing to each of them. It’s a good day.”
Though most of the 11 Tiny Tornadoes remain anonymous, news spread quickly Thursday across Paducah public schools and the city that 11 of the “most deserving” people in town came one lottery number shy of the Powerball jackpot, winning a cool million.
“We’re teachers, teaching assistants, bus monitors and family advocates, and we all work at McNabb Elementary,” said Katie Hollowell, a Head Start teacher who stepped up Thursday as the Tiny Tornadoes’ spokeswoman.
“One of our family advocates had the bright idea to go in on some Powerball tickets. Everyone else was doing it. I’d never played before, so I figured why not?”
Ten of Hollowell’s co-workers had the same thought – why not? – and pitched in $5 each. Once they pooled their money that day, a couple of the Tiny Tornadoes drove the 1.5 miles from McNabb Elementary to the Smoke Shop on North 8th Street during their lunch break and bought the group’s 27 tickets.
Two other $1 million tickets were sold in Kentucky, in Hazard and Walton. Lottery players in Benton, Mount Sterling, Harrodsburg, Florence and Hazard bought $50,000 winning tickets matching four of the five white ball winning numbers and the Powerball.
Hollowell said she thought their chances were so slim – 1 in 292 million – that she went to bed Wednesday night without even looking at the winning numbers. She woke up to a text from a fellow Tiny Tornado saying one of their tickets matched all five white ball numbers in order, 8-27-34-4-19, but not the Powerball number of 10.
“She was like, I think we won a million dollarsâ ¦” Hollowell said. “I was thinking, there’s no way. We were just in shock.”
Family Advocates Angel Lawrence and Tracy Leonard drove to Kentucky Lottery headquarters in Louisville to claim the group’s prize. Most of the Tiny Tornadoes reported to McNabb Elementary just like they would any other Thursday.
Thursday evening, Hollowell was still unsure exactly how much she and her fellow winners would each take home of the $1 million after federal and state taxes.
But any amount feels like a blessing, she said.
“All I can say is that my co-workers that went in on it, they’re all amazing people that work really, really hard, and this little bit of money that we’re all going to split is going to help out,” Hollowell said.
“They are all very deserving of it.”
By GENEVIEVE POSTLETHWAIT
The Paducah Sun