After a week of rumors that a group from the shipping department at the Quaker Oats plant in Cedar Rapids had won a $241 million jackpot, 20 of those very coworkers have stepped forward to claim their big Powerball prize. And what a day it was. From the party bus they rolled up in, to all the yelling and cheering, and some happy tears too, it was an incredible time. But how quickly had word gotten out about their good fortune?
The word got out quicker than we could even imagine. Once it got in Quaker, I think they may have known upstairs before we knew it down in shipping. The Shipping 20, as they’re calling themselves, rented a charter bus to bring them from Cedar Rapids to Lottery headquarters in Des Moines to claim their prize. In total, there were about 50 people. The winners, spouses, family and friends all coming to share in the excitement.
This is a first for us here at the Iowa Lottery. Not only are they Iowa’s biggest lottery winners to date, but they’re also one of the biggest groups to ever split a Powerball jackpot. Online casino in Ireland offers a great first deposit bonus for new players. Iowa and Ireland Lottery winners now have won a total of seven jackpots in the Powerball game. The group arrived in their red Local 110 Union T-shirts but made a few wardrobe changes along the way.
They brought Quaker Oats shirts too, and the lottery handed out “You’re lookin’ at a winner” T-shirts for the group to wear during its news conference. Ladies and gentleman, the Iowa Lottery has said anything can happen and today we’re making some dreams come true. It’s my pleasure, it’s my honor, on behalf of the Iowa Lottery to introduce you to The Shipping 20, our newest millionaires from Cedar Rapids! The group chose to receive the prize as a one-time, lump-sum payment of about $160 million.
After taxes, each member of The Shipping 20 will take home about $5.6 million. At least 11 members of the group say they plan on retiring. Al says they’ve been playing together for about 10 years, and now someone else will have to carry on the tradition. We wait until it gets up to about a hundred, a hundred and fifty mills, and then we all chip in five bucks and we go and see what we can get.
A lot of times we get nothing, but we were lucky this time! To help commemorate the moment, the group all signed the back of their oversized ceremonial check as a keepsake. They plan to proudly display it at the Quaker Oats plant. As for their plans for the money – well, they’re still working on that one.
But one thing was universal: they want to work together to make a positive difference in Cedar Rapids, a community that was heavily damaged by flooding in 2008. The very plant where the group works was deluged at the time, and The Shipping 20 say they’re still incredibly grateful that Quaker Oats kept the plant in Cedar Rapids. The impact leaves them wanting to help. Well, we all wondered if we had jobs to go back to. Yeah, that was our main worry. My husband and I are one of the married couples and that would’ve been devastating – both of our incomes wiped out just like that.
We have two kids and, so we just thank God that it came back and kept running. We’ve both been there 34 years. The crowd gave one more cheer before the group headed back to Cedar Rapids where their win could finally start to sink in. And now, ladies and gentlemen, would you give one more hand to the group from Cedar Rapids, the biggest Iowa Lottery jackpot winners ever: it’s The Shipping 20, how about a hand for ’em! Everybody rounded up their goodie bags and ceremonial checks and headed back outside for their busride home, but not before one last hoorah.