Twenty friends from the Cedar Rapids area are splitting a $150,000 Powerball prize that they won with a ticket they pooled their money to buy at a Cedar Rapids convenience store.
The group calls itself "Rumors 20," based off the name of a bar and grill on the northwest side of Cedar Rapids where they regularly gather together, said Connie Waite of Cedar Rapids, who claimed the prize on behalf of the group.
Waite, along with her husband, Dan, claimed the prize Friday at the lottery's regional office in Cedar Rapids.
"We're leaving here, go and get all the checks and hand them out and there might be a little party this evening," Waite said.
The group won its big prize in Wednesday's Powerball drawing on a ticket that was purchased at Clark of Cedar Rapids, 502 E Ave. NW in Cedar Rapids.
The group's winning ticket initially matched four of the first five numbers and the Powerball to win a $50,000 prize, but since they added the Power Play option to their purchase, their prize multiplied to $150,000.
Sixteen members of the group reside in Cedar Rapids and the other four are from Solon, Swisher, Central City and Vinton, respectively. The group members work in a variety of professions, including construction trades as well as factory and government workers. The group members range in age from 40 to 65.
"We've all just decided, 'Let's all throw in some money every week and buy tickets.' And we’ve been doing it for maybe two years," Waite said. "We've won $300 here, $400 there, but $150,000 is pretty neat."
Waite said she had to work Thursday, so she was unable to take the group's tickets to a local lottery retailer to have them checked. So Dan, her husband, volunteered to have the group's tickets checked. Connie said he found out that the group won $150,000 and remained very calm.
"He says, 'Oh we won 150.' I said, '$150?' He said, '$150,000.' I go, 'What? And this didn't warrant a phone call? You didn’t feel like I would like to share that with anybody?'" Connie recalled.
Each member of the group received $5,250 after taxes. Waite said the group will continue to pool money together to buy Powerball tickets and looks forward to winning again.
"We've been planning on this," she said. "We sort of planned on winning millions, this is the beginning."
The 20 members of the Rumors 20 group are:
From Cedar Rapids: Danny Feaker, Clayton Daywitt, Shawn Cassiday, Roberta Nerison, Sonya Noska, Jake Marshall, Terry Sweet, Carol Ekstrand, Billie Davis, Goldie Chesmore, John Gray, Dean Otto, Tony Anderson, Marlin Hoffner, Alma Unvuh and Waite;
Also, Tim Feaker of Solon; Roger Greif of Swisher; Gary Liebe of Central City; and Charles Fountain of Vinton.
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