After eight years of buying 60 lottery tickets twice a week, a group of 20 Tennessee coworkers finally won a $420 million Powerball jackpot.
Lottery officials announced Tuesday that the group of coworkers at North American Stamping Group, an auto parts manufacturing plant in Portland, Tenn., won the jackpot that has a cash value of $254 million.
At a press conference in Nashville, “the Tennessee 20” revealed their plans for spending (and in some cases saving) their sudden windfall. Fittingly for a group revealed on “Giving Tuesday,” everyone has plans to help our their families and communities.
“All these people have always had a heart to help people and be there for people,” winner Steve Huffman, 54, 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 through this.”
Winner Amy O’Neal estimated that there must be 500 people that the group — who will split the cash value evenly, giving each individual $12.7 million – already has in mind to help out.
O’Neal added that she is planning to use her upcoming trip to the Smoky Mountains to help victims of the wildfires that have plagued Gatlinburg and displaced thousands.
Many others shared plans to help out family members. Carmen Davis said she’s going to buy a new car for her mom who is currently undergoing chemotherapy — and pay for all of her medical care, according to News Channel 5. Billy Taylor said he’d spend his share helping his four adult children with their finances.
“They’re adults, but to be able to give them a hand up is a blessing,” Taylor said.
While the win was great news for the group, O’Neal told Good Morning America that the fact that 20 employees became millionaires overnight made her boss a bit nervous.
“We’re in the sales, engineering and quality divisions which are more technical, so he can’t just bring anybody off the street [to replace us],” O’Neal explained. “He was nervous. He said, ‘I’m happy for y’all but please don’t walk out on me.’ ”
While about half of the group plans to keep working, those who will quit or retire early have vowed to stick around long enough to train their replacements.
Kevin Southerland, who plans to invest his winnings, explained his reasons for sticking with the company.
“I’ve worked there 13 years, it’s a great company,” he said. “They’ve been good to me.”