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Boone County educators hit big with Match 5 win in Saturday’s $168 million Powerball drawings

We all dream of what it would be like to win the lottery, right? Oh, come on, even those of us who vow we will never play have thought about it.

That dream came true for 30 educators and former educators of Jones Middle School in Boone County when they found out this past weekend that they hit the Match 5 in the Powerball for a million dollars. It was the winning ticket you may have heard about purchased at the Kroger in Hebron.

(Image from BCS)

They call themselves “The Jones 30” because 14 years ago they all worked at Jones and had formed a very organized group collecting money, keeping a spreadsheet and religiously playing the same set of numbers the group chose. Over the years some fell off through retirement or moving away and new ones joined in but they kept the group to 30.

The call to their principal, Stacy Park started a whole new level of anxiety. Was she about to have a mass exodus of educators and administrators? That was her first thought.

Park was able to calm down after the details. While 30 did win, only 13 of the winners remain on her staff. The others are either retired or work in other Boone County schools and neighboring districts. And that 30 will split one million dollars after Uncle Sam takes his bite.

Park realizes she is the one who won big. Just to be clear, Park is not a lottery winner. However, her major project this school year is teacher retention. Thirteen of her staff hit 5 of the six balls. Had they hit the sixth for the Powerball “The Jones 30” would have won $164 million dollars. Park knows she would have definitely have had a staffing problem then… for at least the rest of the school year.

But like the professionals they are, “The Jones 30” — from Jones and other schools — showed up to work on Monday and after work they all met up at a restaurant to sign the ticket and make plans to collect their winnings. They said it was like a family reunion.

While almost two-thirds of them are employed elsewhere, it felt like nothing had changed. They all shared a funny story about how they found out. The best story was one winner who was napping and woke up to six missed calls and 187 text messages, all from “The Jones 30.”

Principle Stacy Park (not a lottery winner) is happy for the Jones Elementary group. (Photo provided)

Tuesday after school they all excitedly drove to Frankfort to turn in their winning ticket. You can do the math, no one got rich this time but what they did get is a welcome opportunity to take care of some small but important things in their lives they’ve had to put off. That’s something most can relate to because some of their plans are no different than those of anyone else. “Buy new tires for my kids car, start a savings account, buy new appliances, pay off student loans and medical bills, buy a badly needed new car, and taking a vacation,” just to name a few ways they plan to use their winnings.

“This is amazing for this group at Jones,” said Park. “These teachers are hardworking and go the extra mile for their students. I am so very happy for them and proud of the way they are handling this! I wish it were a gift I could bestow upon all of my staff. No one at Jones rests on their laurels.”

Will “The Jones 30” continue to play the lottery after this win AND will they still play the same numbers? Of course and of course. Do they think they could win again? Well, according to their math teachers the probabilities are about the same. The short answer is, yes.

Boone County Schools

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