INDIANAPOLIS — The Thursday Lunch Six say winning $14 million won’t change their lunch plans anytime soon.
After much anticipation, the mystery of who purchased the winning lottery ticket at a Columbus grocery store has finally been solved.
It wasn’t a single individual, but six friends who simply took a chance on a different game.
The jackpot winners, identified as Columbus residents Tom and Shirley Brown, Jane Sims, Martha Conway Risk, Glenn Petri and Victoria Glick, came forward Tuesday afternoon at a news conference held at the Hoosier Lottery Headquarters in downtown Indianapolis.
Seated behind name placards placed on a long folding table draped with a black cloth, the six were all smiles. Al Larsen, public relations manager for the Hoosier Lottery, introduced the group to area reporters and lottery representatives.
After Brown and Petri took a few questions from reporters,
Larsen presented the group with a large cardboard check made out to the Thursday Lunch Six in the amount of $5.1 million.
Opting to take the one-time cash payout, each of the six will receive $850,000.
The winning quick pick lottery ticket was purchased at JayC Food Store in West Hill Shopping Center, located on Jonathan Moore Pike.
Having played the lottery for about a year, the friends only recently decided to buy Hoosier Lotto tickets earlier this month.
The six each contributed $5 weekly to the groups’ lottery fund. And even though they’ve won, they say their lunch tradition and weekly contributions to their lottery fund will continue.
“Everyone will be throwing in $5 a piece,” Brown said. “I guarantee it.”
Tom and Shirley Brown, parents of Mayor Kristen Brown, are the only members of the group who are officially retired.
Tom Brown, who purchased the winning ticket, said he made it a habit of checking the lottery numbers every Thursday. But this week, he was looking for the winning numbers for the Hoosier Lotto instead of the Powerball, which they usually play.
On the morning of Aug. 5, he got up to check their ticket against the winning numbers from the previous evening’s drawing.
As he compared the numbers and all six matched, he read them “again and again,” 15-19-31-33-42-47.
After he and his wife “double, double and triple checked the numbers” he realized they really had won. One of their first calls was to Jane Sims, who then called Risk.
Unaccustomed to early morning calls, unless there’s an emergency, Risk immediately assumed the worst.
“She called me at 8 in the morning,” Risk said. “She said, ‘We won the lottery.’ I said, ‘Jane that isn’t funny.’ And she said, ‘No, no, we won the lottery!’”
Risk says the weekly $5 contribution was always made in fun, since the group never actually thought they’d win. The group had agreed that whoever purchased the ticket would take a picture of it and email it to everyone. But Risk said she never opened the emails.
During the Tuesday’s news conference, Petri was still in shock. He said it has been difficult coming to terms that it’s true.
“It’s hard for it to sink in that you’ve won,” Petri said. “And can do things that you couldn’t do before.”
According to the Hoosier Lottery, the odds of winning the Hoosier Lotto jackpot are more than 1 in 12 million (1:12,271,512).
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