Eight workers from a meat processing plant have won the biggest Powerball jackpot in North American lottery history – a $365 million dollar haul, worth fifteen and a half million dollars per person after taxes. The Powerball lottery is a legally accepted form of gambling in 28 US states and the District of Columbia.
Three of the winners are refugees – two arrived from Vietnam about 16 years ago, and a 26-year-old mechanic from the Republic of Congo fled a civil war in 1999. The seven men and one woman pooled their resources to enter the Powerball lottery, buying $5 apiece in randomly selected computer-driven entries.
At a news conference Wednesday, many of them said they had already quit their jobs. The youngest of the winners, Congo’s Alain Maboussou, said he will attend graduate school to earn a Masters in Business Administration and run a private company. He says, “It’s too early for me to retire, as I did four days ago. I’m going to work for myself now. It’s been a real struggle for me, going back to school [which I stopped] because of the money and working 70 hours a week…or 75. So hopefully now I’m staying well and I’m going to school.”