Group of LANL employees has lucky numbers

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12 friends win $200k jackpot

By Roger Snodgrass

Twelve friends who work together at Los Alamos National Laboratory won a $200,000 Powerball jackpot this week.

Shean Monahan, the spokesperson for the group said Wednesday that he found out about it the night before when he stopped by the convenience store where they bought the tickets. When the attendant put the tickets in a machine, it said “Claim at Lottery.”

The attendant didn’t know what that meant, except that it was too high for him to pay out, Monahan said.

“At home I checked the tickets and found out that it was a $200,000 winner,” he said. “I put it in a zip-locked bag and stuck it in a safe.”

He didn’t want to tell anybody, because he didn’t want anybody else to have the sleepless night he knew he was about to have.

“The next day I put the safe in my car and drove it to work,” he said.

He broke the news by means of a computerized presentation in which the last slide revealed the kicker.

The group works in the nuclear criticality safety group, supporting all the nuclear facilities at the lab.  They include 11 engineers and an administrative assistant. They started buying tickets together about a year ago, Monahan said.

“It was a great morale booster, especially when the jackpot got high,” he said. “$5 a week got us two drawings with

30 number each week.”

The winning ticket came over the holidays when the group had chipped in for a series of four drawings.

“It was the fourth drawing and the last set of numbers on the ticket,” Monahan said.

To qualify for the $200,000 payout, the winning number had to include all five of the non-powerball numbers.

“In fact, we were one number away from the powerball jackpot,” he said.  

People haven’t been able to think about what they wanted to do with the money yet, which will amount to $11,500 each.

One of the winners went to college on a scholarship funded through the lottery program.