U of U workers win $1M lottery

By David Self Newlin | Posted - Feb 8th, 2013 @ 5:46pm

SALT LAKE CITY — A group of blue collar University of Utah employees will share $1 million in Idaho lottery winnings.

The group of 33 finally hit pay dirt after playing the same exact series of numbers every month for the past 12 years.

Their luck turned thanks to a 1-year-old miniature pincher named "Stella." On Jan. 6, Steve Hughes bought the winning ticket at a gas station near Lava Hot Springs, Idaho, after his dog "Stella" locked him out of his truck.

Hughes was going to get the ticket elsewhere but decided to have his girlfriend buy the ticket there while he struggled to open the lock with a slim jim.

Hughes says they will each get about $20,000 after taxes. They work in the HVAC unit at the University of Utah.

So how likely is it that you'll win the lottery? The odds aren't great. Some games may be as high as one in five trillion.

That makes it all the more remarkable that some folks win twice. Wednesday it was announced that an anonymous South Carolina man won the lottery there for the second time in four months. He recieved $200,000 twice in that time, both using a game called "The Color of Money.

I almost had a heart attack. I had to have an aspirin.

–Steven Weaver

The odds were 440,000 to one for each ticket. There are only six winning tickets in the game, and he managed to garner two of those in a short time.

Earlier this week, an Arkansas couple on a fishing trip won the lottery twice over a single weekend. Steven and Terri Weaver stopped about bought seven $1 Million Riches scratch tickets. One of them was a winner.

"I almost had a heart attack," Steven told Yahoo News. "I had to have an aspirin."

On the way home, they stopped to buy a few more, just for fun. They soon realized they had a $50,000 winning ticket in the "Taxes paid" game.

Arkansas lottery does not provide odds on winning the highest prize in the game, but only five $1 million tickets and 6 $50,000 tickets are printed.

In July of 2012, a Virginia man won a $100,000 prize twice in three months. And in Nov. 2011, a Georgia man won $1 million prize for the second time in three years.

Contributing: Brady McCombs, Associated Press

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