INDIANAPOLIS — Co-workers from Huntertown played the Hoosier Lotto twice a week for seven or eight years before being rewarded with a $19 million jackpot Monday.
“We’re ahead now, though,” said winner Linda Spindler, sporting a wide, nervous smile at the Hoosier Lottery headquarters.
She and Ken Townsley play about 36 tickets twice a week – some of which are free-play tickets won by matching two numbers in the previous drawing.
Instead of taking the full amount over 30 years, they opted for a $7.1 million lump sum.
They plan to continue playing.
The winning ticket with numbers 4-33-34-35-36-48 was a free ticket purchased at Belmont Beverage at 1103 State Blvd. in Fort Wayne.
Lottery officials said the pair defied odds of 1 in more than 12 million to win the jackpot.
Spindler was holding the ticket Saturday night when she saw the numbers and thought her eyes were playing tricks on her.
After double-checking, “I was having a hard time breathing and felt like I was going to have a heart attack,” she said.
Townsley was out of town with family when she finally reached him by cellphone.
“When I first got (the call), it was a hot mess,” he said. “Then she calmed down and got all the words out … it was unbelievable.”
Townsley and Spindler work at CMA Supply in Fort Wayne and serve as the operations manager and office manager respectively. They have worked there since 1992.
Both said they will be at work today, and they haven’t made any plans for spending the money yet.
“I just need to come down a little bit and plan things out and think about what I want to do,” Spindler said. “I haven’t gotten that far yet. It’s still not quite sunk all the way in yet.”
Townsley said its “hard to make a real educated statement on what we are going to do until the dust settles.”
But, he added, it’s nice to know he now has a buffer for the future.
Belmont Beverage will receive a $100,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.
Spindler said she goes there to buy because they automatically know her ticket-buying routine.