Seven co-workers at Smoke Services, Inc., a disaster restoration company based in Belleville, Ill., will share $200,000, courtesy of their weekly Powerball pool. The group, which specializes in fire and smoke damage, “cleaned up” by matching all five white-ball numbers in the Dec. 13 drawing.
Powerball is not sold in Illinois, so for approximately the last four years, the team’s sole Missouri resident has been responsible for collecting the money each week and purchasing tickets for the group.
Now a Powerball winner, company owner Jim Jacobs recounted hearing screams from an adjoining office as fellow team member Helen Jones checked the group’s tickets online.
“I thought she’d seen a mouse or something,” he said about her enthusiastic response. “She couldn’t believe it.”
The team consists of: Helen Jones of Florissant; Carolyn McDaniel and Cathy Rogers, both of Belleville, Ill.; Jim Jacobs and Tim Rogers, both of Freeburg, Ill.; Lisa Bodendieck of new Athens, Ill.; and Dave Cook of O’Fallon, Ill.
Though no definite plans have been announced as to what each will do with their portion of the winnings, Jacobs relayed they “are just tickled to death” about their recent good fortune and “might even add a few more bucks” to the pool in the future.
The winning ticket was purchased at Normandy Amoco, 7430 Natural Bridge Rd. in St. Louis.
Powerball is a multi-state game that gives players nine ways to win cash prizes with the jackpot currently starting at $15 million. Starting Jan. 4, sales will begin for the new and improved Powerball game, which will feature a new minimum jackpot of $20 million, better overall chances to win and more prizes.