A GROUP of blue collar University of Utah workers will split $1 million (R8.89m) in lottery winnings thanks to a set of keys left in a truck and an ornery little dog named Stella.
Thirteen years after playing the same set of numbers every month in the Idaho lottery, the group of 33 workers who work on heating and cooling university buildings hit pay dirt when Steve Hughes left his truck running to keep his dog Stella warm while he went inside to a petrol station near Lava Hot Springs, Idaho, on January 6. Utah has no lottery.
When he returned, his miniature pinscher had locked him out by putting her paw on the manual lock. Hughes planned to buy the ticket elsewhere, but instead he had his girlfriend buy it there while he tried to open the door.
He eventually coached Stella to put her paws on the electronic window button in the back seat, allowing Hughes to get in the car.
The annoying delay that day turned out to be serendipitous when the group discovered last week that they had won second prize in the Idaho Powerball. When the news broke, Hughes thought it was a joke, looking for the camera filming the prank.
About 25 members of the group made the five-and-a-half-hour trip by bus to turn in their winning ticket and collect their money. They will each get about $20 000 after taxes. – Sapa-AP