No more student loans, no house mortgage, no credit card debt. It sounds like a dream come true, but it’s reality for Scott Alack, of Tempe.
He was among a group of seven coworkers and two spouses from a Valley architecture firm that hit jackpot Thursday morning, winning half of a $94 million Powerball prize.
“This will be the first time in my life I’ll be debt-free,” Alack said Thursday after the group claimed a portion of the jackpot that was split with a Minnesota winner.
Alack, an architectural project manager, said he was driving to work about 8 a.m. when he heard familiar-sounding numbers announced on the radio.
When he arrived at the office, he immediately found his co-worker, Tanya Poirier, and the colleagues double- and triple-checked the numbers before contacting lottery officials.
Besides Alack, the other East Valley winner in the architecture firm’s pool, now known as the “Arizona 9,” was Andrew Schuh of Queen Creek. The others were from Phoenix: Poirier and her husband Steve, Mark Kristen, Dawn and Mitchell Levy, Jinia Sarkar and Eve Kalliokoski. Despite their winnings, the co-workers plan to keep their jobs, Poirier said.
The group members also plan to continue their office pool for buying lottery tickets. Poirier said about a third of the office participates in the pool.
At 4:30 p.m., Arizona Lottery officials went to the 7-Eleven at 2424 W. Greenway Rd. in Phoenix, where Poirier had bought the ticket for her group. Officials presented the store owners with a reward for selling the winning ticket: a $25,000 check.
Arizona Lottery Executive Director Art Macias said the last Powerball jackpot win was in December 2004. Since then, Arizonans have bought 68 second-place tickets. Arizona has sold eight jackpot-winning tickets since Powerball sales began in 1994.