Party Hats, Confetti And $1million!

Group of Four Paxton Area Residents Ring in the New Year with Illinois Lottery Win

For Immediate Release Contact: Micaela Small (630) 486-0658

Paxton, IL— January 2, 2014 — A group of three employees and one former employee of the Paxton-Buckley-Loda School District are ringing in the New Year with a $1million Illinois Lottery win. The group, who call themselves “The Lucky PBL 4,” bought a three-month Powerball subscription on the Illinois Lottery’s website and won $1million when their Quick Pick numbers matched the first five winning numbers - 05 - 12 - 43 - 52 - 55 — (10) in the Saturday November 23 drawing. Today, they claimed their prize and Illinois Lottery representatives presented the group with oversized checks to commemorate the win.

Group members John Overstreet and Diana Hale, both from Paxton, Jim Carley from Gifford and Martha Gentes from Strawn, are long-time friends who met while working at Paxton High School. “We’ve been playing the lottery together for years and a few months ago I realized how convenient it is for me to buy our tickets online,” said Overstreet, leader of the group. “I don’t ever worry about missing a draw or checking our tickets… and it sure paid off!” Each of the group members will receive $250,000 prior to withholding taxes.

Overstreet, a lifelong Paxton resident, has been a Social Studies teacher and Athletics Director at Paxton High School for 32 years. He and his wife Dawn plan to use their share of the windfall to help their three sons pay off student loans. “This win will make things so much easier.”

Hale and Gentes are both secretaries at the school. “Ever since John told us we won we haven’t been able to stop smiling,” said Gentes, who plans to invest her winnings for retirement.

After teaching Social Studies for 26 years, Carley left Paxton High School to become a full-time grain farmer. When asked about his plans for the winnings Carley said, “I’ve got two young children and I’d like to invest for them to go to college. We also bought a few extra Christmas gifts this year.”

In March 2012, the Illinois Lottery became the first lottery in the country to offer the sale of lottery tickets via the Internet, as part of a test program authorized by the Illinois General Assembly. The Lottery added Powerball to its Internet sales channel in November 2012, allowing Illinois residents 18 and over the chance to buy Powerball, Mega Millions and Lotto tickets online.

This is the second $1 million Powerball prize won in Illinois with a ticket purchased via the internet. A Brookfield man bought his Powerball ticket on-line and won $1 million in the December 12, 2012 drawing.

All players who win via the Illinois Lottery’s website are sent a notification to their personal email address, eliminating the chance of a prize going unclaimed. An unclaimed $16.6 million Powerball prize in Florida expired last month.

Powerball drawings take place Wednesday and Saturday nights at 9:59 p.m. The estimated jackpot for this Saturday is $60 million. For more information, please visit


About Illinois Lottery

Founded in 1974, the Illinois Lottery has contributed over $18 billion to the state’s Common School Fund to assist K-12 public schools, as well as hundreds of millions of dollars to the Capital Projects Fund and to special causes like Illinois Veterans, the fight against breast cancer, MS research, and assistance for people living with HIV/AIDS. In addition to playing in-store, the Illinois Lottery offers online and mobile play for Mega Millions, Powerball and Lotto at Players must be at least 18 years old.