Kentucky middle school staff win $1M jackpot, hide winning ticket in math textbook

More than two dozen former and current employees at a Kentucky middle school won a $1 million jackpot and hid the winning ticket in a math textbook. 

The 30 staffers were from a Boone County school. They had carpooled together on Tuesday after work to collect their winnings. Each one received a check for $24,000 after taxes. 

The employees referred to themselves as the "Jones 30" after Rector A. Jones Middle School in Florence. It's also where they all met. 

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The group's organizer realized she had the winning ticket on Sunday, one day after the drawing. It was also her idea to keep the ticket inside the textbook. 


A group of former and current Kentucky middle school staffers recently won a $1 million jackpot. (Credit: Kentucky Lottery)

"No one looks in a math book," the unidentified woman said in a news release. "I knew it would be safe there…page 200. I have checked this a thousand times."

The group said they've been lottery players for years. 

"We all taught at the same school at one point or another," another winner said. "We’ve got counselors, admins, special ed teachers, the school nurse… Some have moved on or retired, but we still continue to do it. We’ve remained buddies for all of these years."

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The group has also been pooling their money to play the lottery for more than eight years. They chose a permanent set of Powerball numbers in 2019, and played those same numbers each week. 

"Our math teacher and assistant principal pulled them out of a hat," one winner explained. "At first, we didn’t have the right amount of numbers to choose from, so we drew again. Thank goodness we did."

Kentucky Lottery President and CEO Mary Harville met with the group when they collected their winnings and took pictures with them. 

"Kentucky Lottery games create fun for our players," Harville said. "And these winning educators were having the time of their lives.  It was wonderful to watch another chapter in their friendship unfold, thanks to the Kentucky Lottery."  

Some members said they would invest their winnings or use the money for travel or home repairs. 

"A lot of us have gone on trips together, we’ve had babies and grandbabies over the years," one winner shared. "We always have so much fun. It’s just cool to win as a group and share this experience."

The group plans to keep playing the lottery as a way to stay in touch. 

This story was reported from Los Angeles.