Education

Minn. ‘Lunch Ladies’ Win $95 Million Lottery Jackpot

By Darcia Harris Bowman — November 05, 2003 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Millionaires were cooking in the kitchens of the Holdingford, Minn., school district last week. Fifteen millionaires, to be exact.

A 16th millionaire was performing custodial duties.

They weren’t always rich. The lunch ladies and janitor, who together call themselves the “Happy Huskers” after the district’s mascot, woke up on the morning of Sunday, Oct. 26, to discover that they collectively held a lottery ticket worth $95 million.

Despite their newfound wealth, members of the group reported to work as usual the next morning, said Roger Carlson, the superintendent of the 1,100- student district in central Minnesota. “It couldn’t happen to a nicer group of people,” he said.

Though two of the winners announced intentions to retire last week, Mr. Carlson said the other 14 were sticking to the status quo for now. “They just continue to do their jobs,” he said.

The 16 employees had a long-standing practice of each contributing 25 cents from every paycheck for Powerball tickets. The oldest member of the group, Donna Lange, always posted the tickets on a school bulletin board before the drawings.

Ms. Lange told lottery officials that when she checked the winning numbers at home, she immediately called group member Karen Overman, the nutritional-services manager.

“At first, I didn’t believe her,” Ms. Overman said in a Minnesota State Lottery press release. “As I thought about it, I realized, ‘It’s 7 a.m. on Sunday morning and the clocks have been turned back. She’s serious about it.’”—DARCIA HARRIS BOWMAN

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Data Webinar
Working Smarter, Not Harder with Data
There is a new paradigm shift in K-12 education. Technology and data have leapt forward, advancing in ways that allow educators to better support students while also maximizing their most precious resource – time. The
Content provided by PowerSchool
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Deepen the Reach and Impact of Your Leadership
This webinar offers new and veteran leaders a unique opportunity to listen and interact with four of the most influential educational thinkers in North America. With their expert insights, you will learn the key elements
Content provided by Solution Tree
Science K-12 Essentials Forum Teaching Science Today: Challenges and Solutions
Join this event which will tackle handling controversy in the classroom, and making science education relevant for all students.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education School Bus Driver Retires After 48 Years Behind Wheel
Charles City school bus driver Betty Flick sat behind the wheel for the final time last week, wrapping up a 48-year career for the district.
3 min read
Charles City school bus driver Betty Flick poses with one of her farewell signs. Flick has been driving for Charles City School District for 48 years.
Betty Flick quickly fell in love with the job and with the kids, which is what has had her stay in the district for this long.
Courtesy of Abby Koch/Globe Gazette
Education Briefly Stated: December 1, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: November 17, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: October 27, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read