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Lunch Ladies Dish Up Lottery Win

October 28, 2003|From Associated Press

ROSEVILLE, Minn. — They waited until the students got their lunch, then 15 school cooks and one janitor who each put a quarter into a lottery pool came forward Monday as the holders of a Powerball ticket worth more than $95 million.

The women started their first Monday as millionaires back on the school lunch line, where they fed the students in the tiny Holdingford School District before hopping a bus to the state lottery headquarters in Minneapolis to claim their prize.

"It was really tough to be concentrating on the meal," said winner Karen Overman. "I know there's a need for news conferences in the morning, but we've got breakfast to put out."

The school workers bought one of two winning tickets for the $190.9 million Powerball jackpot.

No one has claimed a second ticket that was sold in a small southwestern Indiana town.

The Minnesota women put a quarter from each paycheck toward four Powerball tickets -- a routine they have followed since 1990.

At a news conference Monday night, the smiling women said they still had not decided whether to choose the cash option, which would amount to $2.1 million apiece after taxes, or to take the money in annual payments.

Some in the group said they didn't plan on giving up their school lunch jobs just yet.

"The kids come first," Overman said of the students in the tiny school district outside of St. Cloud, in central Minnesota.

The winning numbers were 6-17-45-47-48 and Powerball 4.

The winners can take $95.45 million worth of annual payments over 30 years or $49.8 million in cash before taxes.

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