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School bus driver immediately retires after $100,000 Powerball win: 'I'm not coming back'

'I hit the lottery, and I'm not coming back,' the bus driver told his boss after the win
Bus driver with check
Posted at 4:28 PM, Sep 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-07 16:32:10-04

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky -- A Kentucky schools bus driver is retiring after winning big on the Powerball.

Kentucky Lottery officials said James Keown won $100,000 recently, and immediately told his boss, "I hit the lottery, and I'm not coming back."

Keown told officials that he worked as a school bus driver for Jefferson County Public Schools for 11 years, WLKY reported.

"I loved my job, but I’d been thinking about retiring for a while," he told lottery officials.

Keown purchased the winning Powerball ticket from Circle K on Galene Drive in Louisville for the Aug. 19 drawing.

The ticket matched four white ball numbers and the Powerball to win the game’s $50,000 prize. He chose to add the Power Play feature, multiplying his winnings by the Power Play number drawn -- two.

Bus driver with check
A Jefferson County Public Schools bus driver is retiring after winning big on the Powerball.

The next morning, he checked the numbers on his phone and he saw all but one number matched.

“I looked at it four times… that number’s got to change, but it didn’t,” Keown said.

Keown was excited to share the news with his wife, Monta.

“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 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,” she said.

Keown and his wife claimed the prize the Monday following the Powerball drawing when he walked away with a check for $71,500 after taxes.

The couple told lottery officials they have a weakness for disabled cats and plan to support their local kitten and cat rescue shelters.

They also plan to use the winnings towards lake property.

Circle K will receive $1,000 for selling the winning ticket.

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