LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A Kentucky school bus driver who said he “had been thinking” about retiring got a big incentive last month.
James Keown, of Louisville, bought a winning $100,000 Powerball ticket last month, according to a news release from the Kentucky Lottery.
Keown’s ticket from the Aug. 19 promotion matched four white balls and the Powerball to win $50,000. He doubled his earnings when he played the Power Play number, which was 2X, lottery officials said.
A bus driver for 11 years in the Jefferson County Public Schools system, Keown called his boss the next day.
“I called my boss on Sunday, and I told him, ‘I hit the lottery and I’m not coming back,’” Keown said in a statement on Wednesday. “I loved my job, but I’d been thinking about retiring for a while.”
Keown said he could not believe his good fortune when he checked his numbers after buying a ticket at a Circle K.
“I looked at it four times,” Keown told lottery officials. “That number’s got to change, but it didn’t.
“I thought I better see what I won. The first time, I saw I won $50,000 and then I thought, ‘Wait a minute, I play the multiplier all the time.’ So I went back, and the multiplier was 2.”
Monta Keown was equally thrilled with the windfall, which amounted to $71,500 after taxes.
“We had just gotten off the phone and then he texted for me to call him as soon as I could. I panicked thinking something was wrong,” Monta Keown told lottery officials. “He told me, ‘I just paid off my bills.’ I said, ‘You did what?’ ‘I just paid off my bills. I just won $100,000!’
“I’m just over the moon and excited for him.”
The couple told lottery officials that they have a weakness for disabled cats and plan to support local kitten and cat shelters. They also plan to use their cash toward buying some lakefront property.