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September 2, 2016
A four-year Missouri Lottery tradition has paid off in dividends for a group of 31 Fort Zumwalt School District Transportation Department employees. The group correctly matched all five numbers drawn in the Aug. 19 Show Me Cash drawing to win the $148,000 jackpot.

Steven Peterson, the group’s leader and Lottery coordinator, claimed the prize on the group’s behalf on Aug. 25 at the Lottery’s St. Louis regional office. Peterson maintains a spreadsheet, collects money from a group of 30 to 35 co-workers per week, and typically purchases Powerball, Mega Millions and Lotto tickets each week in $10 increments.

Whenever the group, which includes school bus and special needs bus drivers, wins a smaller prize, Peterson will contribute the money back into the weekly fund, or he will occasionally throw in a little extra money for additional tickets. Such was the case when Peterson had an extra dollar and decided to purchase a Quick Pick Show Me Cash ticket from Petro Mart, 6098 Mid Rivers Mall Drive in St. Peters, for the Aug. 19 drawing.

“We really only play Show Me Cash if it’s more than $80,000 or so. Even then it’s only on occasion,” said Peterson.

The group leader realized that he and 30 of his co-workers had won their $148,000 prize two days after the drawing on Sunday, Aug. 21.

“My hands and body started to tremble. I texted a photo to a few people and told them they had better be sitting down,” continued Peterson, adding that the other members of the group were notified of their good fortune as they arrived to work on Monday.

Each member of the group will take home a $4,774 share of the prize before taxes. At the time of claiming, Peterson said he had heard an array of ideas from his co-workers on how they would spend their share of the prize, including vacations, house renovations, weddings and family finance assistance.

“This really comes at an ideal time since many of us don’t have an income over the summer while schools are out. It’s always been a dream for everyone, really, and it finally became a reality,” concluded Peterson.

The 31-member group of Fort Zumwalt School District employees include:  William Ballantyne, Patricia Casto, Joann Chambers, Robert Champ, Daniel Christoff, Mark Echele, Tonie Eckiss, Martin Hall, Stephen Hames, Jacqueline Horan, Fonda Johnson, Christina Johnston, Gerald Kessler, Carol Peyton, Audrey Smith, Zara Stone, and Terry Tulk, all of O’Fallon; Jack Venable of St. Charles; Sandra Doyle, Rebecca Elramly, Judith Hargrove, Robert Hofer, Michael Layton, Connie Lewis, Virginia O’Donnell, Steven Peterson, and Melvin Venneman, all of St. Peters; Kenneth April of Troy; Carolyn Coyle of Weldon Springs; Carol Bonenberger of Wentzville; and Judy Thompson of Wright City.

A daily in-state Draw Game, Show Me Cash jackpots start at $50,000 and grow until won. The Fort Zumwalt School District employees claimed the 419th Show Me Cash prize since the Draw Game was introduced in 2008. So far in 2016, 35 Show Me Cash jackpots have been won with an average jackpot of more than $160,000. All past winning numbers and prizes paid for all Draw Games can be found here at  

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