06/16/06 — A $600,000 ticket

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A $600,000 ticket

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on June 16, 2006 1:53 PM

Eight concrete truck drivers won $600,000 in the Wednesday Powerball drawing.

But they were only three digits -- and one Powerball -- away from nearly $86 million.

So, this morning, the eight employees at S&W Ready Mix were back at work.

At first, the employees did not want to share the news of their good fortune, they said.

But their phones were ringing off the hook Thursday night with congratulatory calls.

Some of the drivers still wanted to stay anonymous. One of those drivers said he couldn't believe how many people found out about their win.

The winning ticket matched all five balls drawn -- 4-14-15-40-48.

The Powerball was 12. They had 15.

Their Power Play choice tripled their $200,000 winnings, leaving them with a jackpot of $600,000.

So close, but not $86 million.

So, this morning, it was back to work.

That did not matter to Neil Dickerson, one of the lucky winners. It was still a good day, he said, even though he had planned to keep his prize quiet -- for a little while anyway.

"This is a far cry from yesterday," he said. "I didn't say anything."

But relatives started calling him Thursday night. He thought his wife was the only person who knew about the winning ticket, and he had promised all the other guys at work that he would not say anything.

Each of the drivers for S&W Ready Mix will still have a tidy sum left after the government takes its cut.

"We''re not millionaires. We're just thousand-aires," Dickerson said. "I'm going to pay off some bills. That's all you can do. It won't be around long."

Anthony McCallister and Allen Walters said they're going to keep on playing Powerball. They don't have a system. They just let the computer do a "quick pick" for numbers to play.

"The party's at my house," said another one of the anonymous drivers.

The eight drivers bought the biggest winning ticket in the state at a nearby Friendly Mart on N.C. 111. The next largest winning ticket, for $200,000, was bought at a Garner store, and three more winning tickets in other parts of the state totaled $50,000 among them.

"The shocker was we were only three numbers off the Powerball," said another anonymous member of the S&W pool. "The Powerball was 12, and we had 15."

The estimated jackpot for the next Powerball drawing this Saturday is $100 million.