A group of three employees and one former employee of the Paxton-Buckley-Loda School District are ringing in the New Year with a $1million Illinois Lottery win. The group, who call themselves "The Lucky PBL 4," bought a three-month Powerball subscription on the Illinois Lottery's website and won $1million when their Quick Pick numbers matched the first five winning numbers - 05 - 12 - 43 - 52 - 55 ? (10) in the Saturday November 23 drawing. Today, they claimed their prize and Illinois Lottery representatives presented the group with oversized checks to commemorate the win.
Group members John Overstreet and Diana Hale, both from Paxton, Jim Carley from Gifford and Martha Gentes from Strawn, are long-time friends who met while working at Paxton High School. "We've been playing the lottery together for years and a few months ago I realized how convenient it is for me to buy our tickets online," said Overstreet, leader of the group. "I don't ever worry about missing a draw or checking our tickets? and it sure paid off!" Each of the group members will receive $250,000 prior to withholding taxes.
Overstreet, a lifelong Paxton resident, has been a Social Studies teacher and Athletics Director at Paxton High School for 32 years. He and his wife Dawn plan to use their share of the windfall to help their three sons pay off student loans. "This win will make things so much easier."
Hale and Gentes are both secretaries at the school. "Ever since John told us we won we haven't been able to stop smiling," said Gentes, who plans to invest her winnings for retirement.
After teaching Social Studies for 26 years, Carley left Paxton High School to become a full-time grain farmer. When asked about his plans for the winnings Carley said, "I've got two young children and I'd like to invest for them to go to college. We also bought a few extra Christmas gifts this year."
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