20 Tennessee co-workers claim $421M jackpot

Posted at 2:19 PM, Nov 29, 2016

A group of 20 co-workers shared their winning Powerball story at Tennessee Lottery Headquarters Tuesday morning. The group, now known as the Tennessee 20, works together at North American Stamping in Portland.

Amy O'Neal started the office lottery pool about 8-years-ago. She lives in Lafayette, a Tennessee town of about 5,000 people in Macon County, and purchased the winning ticket at a store called the Smokeshop on Scottsville Road.

When officials announced the winning numbers Saturday night, O'Neal was asleep.

"I just went to bed, I said 'I'll check it in the morning, it ain't [sic] going to be a winner,'" O'Neal said. "I got up, made a pot of coffee for my husband, when my son saw Lafayette on the TV."

O'Neal's son insisted she wake up and check her tickets. The winning numbers were lined up on the third ticket she checked.

"I had to look again because I thought I'm in a dream," O'Neal said. "My husband had to look. I looked again."

That's when O'Neal began calling her coworkers - around 6 o'clock Sunday morning.

"I said 'I'm going to get my coffee before I answer that phone,'" said Carmen Davis. "So I got my coffee, got my phone, was going to call her back and I said 'it's 6:15 in the morning!' That's all she had to say was, 'Carmen this is Amy O'Neal' and I'm like, 'We won!'"

All 20 winner met at O'Neal's home in Lafayette Sunday morning. They voted to take the lump sum of $254.7 million, which they'll split evenly.

Davis said she plans to buy a new car for her mother who is undergoing chemotherapy treatment so she can easily get to her appointments. She'll also pay for her care at a doctor's office of her mother's choosing.

Winner Kevin Southerland said he plans to invest his money. He'll continue working at North American Stamping.

"I've worked there 13 years, it's a great company," Southerland said. "They've been good to me."

Billy Taylor plans to spend his share helping his four children financially.

"They're adults but to be able to give them a hand up is a blessing," Taylor said.

This is the ninth largest jackpot in Powerball history.