Farmington Co

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Workers at US Tool Group’s headquarters in Farmington, Mo., pose with a check noting their $1 million Powerball prize on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018. A group of 166 employees are splitting the pot and getting about $6,000 each. Missouri Lottery photo

Workers at US Tool Group’s headquarters in Farmington, Mo., pose with a check noting their $1 million Powerball prize on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018. A group of 166 employees are splitting the pot and getting about $6,000 each. Missouri Lottery photo

One more matching number and a group of 166 Farmington co-workers might have been splitting a $300 million Powerball jackpot and walking away with $1.8 million each. 

They fell just short of the jackpot, but the group of employees at the US Tool Group headquarters in Farmington won the “Match 5” Powerball drawing Dec. 23, nabbing them $1 million total. 

Take into account the $2 each of the paid to buy into the Powerball drawing Dec. 23, and that makes for a $6,022 return on each worker’s investment. 

The employees arrived to work Tuesday to find out one of the tickets their combined dollars had bought matched all five white-ball numbers drawn Dec. 23:  1, 3, 13, 15 and 44. The Power Ball number was 25.

Peggy Lunsford, who helped organized the group effort, found out about the win Christmas morning, according to a Missouri Lottery news release. 

“The girl that sells the tickets was so happy,” she said. “She came running up to me and said, ‘I knew I would sell you a winning ticket!’ It’s exciting for everyone.”

Lunsford decided to wait until Tuesday to surprise her coworkers at headquarters. 

“You could hear people from all over the plant say, ‘Yay!’” said Michelle Kemp. 

Four of the co-workers claimed the prize at state lottery headquarters in Jefferson City. They wore sweatshirts from the store where they bought the ticket: Jake’s Express Shop at 6104 Highway Y in French Village, an unincorporated community in St. Francois County.  

Powerball is a $2 per play multi-state lottery with jackpots starting at $40 million. Drawings are held on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 9:59 p.m.   

Reporter covering breaking news and crime by night. Born in Algeria but grew up in St. Louis. Previously reported for The Associated Press in Jackson, Mississippi and at the Wichita Eagle in Wichita, Kansas.

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