Bus drivers were 1 number off Powerball jackpot

Posted at 5:35 PM, Jan 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-18 19:59:00-05

VERSAILLES, Ind. -- More than a dozen South Ripley school bus drivers were just one number away from winning millions in last week's historic Powerball drawing.

That combination was still enough to make each of them a few thousand dollars richer.

Ron Buchanan bought 15 tickets for his fellow bus drivers at Kelly's American Strong convenience store, and he was in charge of checking the numbers.

"When I first looked at it, only thing I thought we had was the Powerball," Buchanan said. "And then I got up earlier in the morning to go get ready to get on the bus, and I looked at it again, and I'm like, I think we just won $50,000."

When they first found out, Sue Reuter and Trisha Kappes didn't have a clue they were about to get some great news.

"They told us to come down to bus 11, and then on our way down, we're like, 'What did we do?'" Reuter said.

"I thought, oh Lord, I'm getting fired or something, he's got a stack of papers in his hand," Kappes said.

Then they found out they'd be splitting up the winnings -- about $2,300 each after tax.

"Got all the bills caught up -- that's what I've spent -- and then me and my husband did go out to a nice dinner," Kappes said.

Buchanan thinks it couldn't have happened to a nicer group of folks: "These are all my friends, and we've got a good group of people here -- we're like a family here."

Watch the video above to hear more from Buchanan's coworkers about their big win.