Make your home page

Kentucky school bus driver quits job after winning $100K lottery prize

A Louisville man is retiring early, all thanks to the Kentucky Lottery and Powerball. (Provided Photo/Kentucky Lottery)

LOUISVILLE (WISH) — A Louisville man is retiring early, all thanks to the Kentucky Lottery and Powerball.

James Keown was a school bus driver for Jefferson County Public Schools for 11 years. Kentucky lottery officials say Keown immediately quit after finding out about his winnings.

Keown discovered he won $100,000 on a Powerball ticket purchased for the Aug. 19 drawing.

“I called my boss on Sunday, and I told him, ‘I hit the lottery and I’m not coming back.’… I loved my job, but I’d been thinking about retiring for a while,” said Keown.

He purchased the winning Powerball ticket from Circle K on Galene Drive in Louisville.

Keown’s lucky 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 when buying the ticket, multiplying his winnings by the Power Play number drawn — which was two.

He says the next morning, he checked the numbers on his phone and he saw all but one of his numbers matched. 

“I looked at it four times…that number’s got to change, but it didn’t,” Keown said. “I thought I better see what I won.  The first time, I saw I won $50,000 and then I thought, ‘Wait a minute I play the multiplier all the time,’ so I went back, and the multiplier was 2.”

Keown was very 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 Keown 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,” Monta said. 

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

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 say the winnings will go toward lake property.

The Circle K where the winning ticket was purchased will receive $1,000 for selling the winning ticket.