Office Pool Wins $1 Million in Record Powerball Drawing
It was a day of celebration for 24 employees with C.J. Brown Realtors in Baton Rouge who shared a $1 million Powerball prize from the record-setting May 18 drawing. The winnings were claimed on the group's behalf by Belinda "Kim" Miller, who visited Louisiana Lottery headquarters Friday with 22 of her coworkers.The winning ticket, which matched all five white-ball numbers but missed the red Powerball number in the drawing for the $590.5 million jackpot, was purchased by Beverly LeBlanc of Baton Rouge. When LeBlanc checked the winning numbers the morning after the drawing, she was stunned to learn one ticket was a $1 million winner and rushed to share the news."It was early in the morning so I looked at the list [of pool members] and thought, 'Who is up at 6:30 in the morning?' So I called Kim Miller," explained LeBlanc.Miller described that phone call: "I kept saying, 'Are you sure? Are you sure?' And [LeBlanc] kept saying, 'Well, I've checked it 10 or 12 times!'"The group brought bottles of champagne to mark their check presentation and several members offered heart-felt toasts. "We all know that C.J. Brown is a special place to work," said Inez Shelton Jr. of Greenwell Springs. "Sharing this with each of you as friends makes this day even better. It's a once-in-a-lifetime thing that we will always remember, and we will be bonded together because of it."Miller received $700,000 after state and federal taxes were withheld and stated each office pool member will receive $29,166.66. The winning ticket was purchased at Matherne's Supermarket on Bluebonnet Boulevard in Baton Rouge. The store received a selling bonus of $10,000, which is 1 percent of the prize.More than 142,000 Louisiana Lottery players won prizes in the May 18 Powerball drawing for a total of more than $1.9 million in prize money. A single ticket sold in Florida won the jackpot, which is the largest in Powerball history.Ticket purchasers must be at least 21 years of age. Draw-style game tickets must be claimed within 180 days of the drawing. Anyone who may have a gambling problem or friends and family of anyone with a gambling problem should call toll free 1-877-770-7867 for help.For security purposes, the Lottery strongly encourages players to sign the back of their tickets immediately after purchasing. More information about other Powerball winners can be found in the "Meet Our Winners" section of the Lottery's website.