It was their lucky day! A group of 20 Tennessee-based coworkers, who have dubbed themselves the “Tennessee 20,” won a $420.9 million Powerball jackpot. Learn more about their story in the video above!
The crew spoke out about their big win during a Wednesday, November 30, news conference in Nashville. “We’re supporting education, and we’re supporting Tennessee,” Amy O’Neal, the group’s leader, told reporters, according to ABC News. (Proceeds from lottery ticket sales benefit education programs in Tennessee.)
The “Tennessee 20” work together at Portland’s North American Stamping Group — which handles sales and quality control at an auto parts manufacturing plant — and live in 13 different cities in central Tennessee and southern Kentucky.
According to O’Neal, she and her coworkers have been playing the lotto for eight years and buy $120 worth of tickets every Wednesday and Saturday. “You never think you’re going to win this lottery, but you do it for fun,” she said at the news conference.
The cash value of the jackpot is worth $254 million, which leaves each employee with $12.7 million before taxes. O’Neal, who purchased the winning ticket for Saturday’s drawing at a smoke shop in Lafayette, Tennessee, said that her coworkers were astounded when she broke the exciting news to them.
“They were like, ‘Oh my gosh, Amy, shut up, we’re not going to work today,’” she said. “Everybody was just screaming. Just the joy.”
Kevin Southerland, one of the Tennessee 20’s newly minted millionaires, said that a few of the winners plan to retire, but some will continue to work for North American Stamping Group. While the employees shared plans to pay off debt, send their kids to college and buy new cars, they also want to give back and help others.
“All these people have always had a heart to help people and be there for people,” Southerland told The Tennessean. “We can do that if we don’t have any money. Now we can do more and help more. There’s going to be a lot of people blessed.”