James Keown, a beloved school bus driver for Jefferson County Public Schools in Kentucky, recently became the talk of the town after winning big on the Powerball. Kentucky Lottery officials announced that Keown won a whopping $100,000 after matching four white ball numbers and the Powerball in the game’s August 19th drawing. But that’s not the only thing that’s changed for Keown: he’s also retiring after 11 years of service.
“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,” Keown shared in a statement with the Kentucky Lottery.
Keown purchased the winning Powerball ticket from Circle K on Galene Drive in Louisville, and when he saw that he had won, he was in disbelief. “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 and his wife Monta, who was just as shocked as he was, plan on using the winnings to support local cat rescue shelters and purchase a lake property. The couple also paid off their bills with the winnings.
Keown’s boss, who was sad to see him go, was understanding of Keown’s decision. Keown was a beloved bus driver who took his job seriously and loved the kids he transported every day. Keown’s departure is a loss for the school district, but with his winnings, Keown can now focus on his hobbies and interests.
The odds of winning the initial $50,000 are 1 in 913,129.18, making Keown’s win even more remarkable. With Keown’s retirement, the school district will miss a dedicated employee who loved his job. But Keown’s win is a reminder that sometimes, even the most unlikely things can happen.