20 Quaker Oats employees in Cedar Rapids who won the $241 million Powerball jackpot officially stepped forward and claimed their prize in Des Moines on Wednesday.
The winners took a charter bus from Cedar Rapids to the lottery headquarters Wednesday morning. A news conference was held by the Iowa Lottery to introduce the group known as the "Shipping 20."
The group of Quaker Oats shipping and receiving employees pitched in on a ticket and won last week's estimated $241 million jackpot.
At the beginning of the news conference, the Iowa Lottery read a statement indicating the group would take the jackpot as a one time lump sum of $160.3 million. The eighteen men and two women will each receive about $8 million, about $5.6 million after taxes.
The winners are planning to take legal action to have their names withheld from the public. When asked why they made the decision, one member of the group said they were "simple people," and they wanted to protect their privacy. The group ranges in ages from 35 to 64 and all live in the Cedar Rapids area.
The group of 20 have pitched in to buy lottery tickets consistently together over the last few years anytime the Powerball jackpot was more than $150 million. The group organizer said he keeps very detailed records of each participant and ticket purchase. They have also retained legal counsel and financial experts to help manage the new challenges of managing their winnings.
At the news conference, the group's organizer spoke about the flooding on the Cedar River in 2008 and its impact on Quaker Oats in Cedar Rapids. If the company had not rebuilt in Cedar Rapids after the flood, he said the group would no longer be working together and playing the lottery together. They won the Powerball jackpot exactly four years after the river crested in Cedar Rapids.
At least 11 in the group plan to retire, and some will quit working at the end of this week.
This ticket is Iowa's biggest lottery winner to date. According to the Iowa Lottery, this is the seventh ticket sold in Iowa to win the overall Powerball prize.
This song was written by another Quaker Oats employee that was not part of the winning group. The song was played by the Iowa Lottery when the "Shipping 20" were introduced at a news conference in Des Moines.
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