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Nine co-workers from Hill Air Force Base are sharing a $1 million Powerball prize from the Idaho Lottery, one of the biggest wins ever for Utahns who cross the border for tickets.
On Friday, several members of the group claimed their prize from a ticket purchased in Malad for last Saturday night's draw, according to a release from the Idaho Lottery.
Ju Nare Cope, of Ogden, and Michelle Allgaier, of South Weber, started an office pool at the 75th Medical Group in Layton in March.
"On Monday morning we knew we'd won a big prize when we matched those first five numbers; we just didn't know how much it was at first," Cope said in the statement.
"Then 'Miss I-spy Michelle' went on the Internet and found out we had won one million dollars. That news spread like wildfire. The office was electric!"
This is the seventh million-or-more payout for Utahns, said Idaho lottery spokesman David Workman, and most of those winning tickets were sold in Malad.
"Malad is one of the luckier towns not just in Idaho, but in the country," he said in an email.
Other big wins for Utahns this year:
• $2 million: Earlier in August, a couple from South Jordan split a ticket's winnings with their niece in Salmon, Idaho. This is the largest winning Idaho Lottery ticket ever claimed by a Utahn, Workman said.
• $1 million: A Powerball win split earlier this year between two brothers, one in Salt Lake City and the other in Twin Falls.
• $250,000: Ticket sold in Malad in March to two women from Salt Lake City.
• $125,000: A scratch ticket recently purchased by a Salt Lake City woman in Malad.
Allgaier had used the Idaho Lottery's "Pool Party" interactive website, which educates players interested in starting an office pool, before she launched the team, dubbed "Dreams Recalculated."
"We did a lot of research, made every one of our participants sign contracts, and then everyone put in $10 once every five weeks," she explained. "We've only spent $450 on tickets since starting the group."
Joining Cope and Allgaier in Boise were Paulene Coleman, also of Ogden, Candy Davis and Marty Kessler, of Clinton, and Curtis Sanders, of Layton.
Three other players, Helen Frazier, of Willard, Joyce Kenney, of Mountain Green, and Christy Snow, from Hill, were also claimants.
Most of the group members plan to invest their winnings and pay down debts, the lottery's statement said. Cope, Allgaier and Davis also are planning trips to Hawaii, it added.
The winning ticket was sold at Thomas Market in Malad. It will receive a bonus from the Idaho Lottery for $20,000.
This is Idaho's fourth seven-figure winner on Powerball since mid- June. The Powerball jackpot for Saturday night's draw is an estimated $80 million.
Utahns' biggest Idaho Lottery wins
R $2 million • Claimed in August by a South Jordan couple and their niece in Salmon, Idaho
$1.28 million • Wild Card win in 2001 for a Taylorsville man who bought a ticket in Fish Haven by Bear Lake
$1 million • Powerball win in 2010 for a Brigham City family who bought their ticket in Franklin
$1 million • A Powerball win in 2011 for an American Fork man
$1 million • A Powerball win in 2011 for a group from Ogden
$1 million • A Powerball win earlier this year split between two brothers, one in Salt Lake City and the other in Twin Falls
$1 million • A Powerball prize for a group of nine co-workers from Hill Air Force Base
Source: Idaho Lottery