A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Flight attendant gets rerouted to CVG and finds good fortune in the purchase of a Kentucky lottery ticket

A well-traveled flight attendant stranded in Hebron found good fortune after his flight was rerouted to the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

The Salt Lake City, UT man (who wishes to remain anonymous) won $50,000 on the January 1st Powerball drawing after his ticket matched four white ball numbers and the Powerball.

“I’ve traveled all over the world but the best place I’ve ever been is Hebron, KY,” he told lottery officials.

A lucky winning ticket

After travel delays forced him to make an unexpected stop overnight in Hebron between flights, he took an Uber in search of something to eat early on the morning of December 28th as nothing was open in the airport. As they set out towards Cincinnati, the driver suggested a convenience store that was closer to the airport.

“I went in the store and while checking out, I thought, ‘I’m going to buy three sets of numbers for three drawings,’” he said. He chose the Quick Pick option letting the terminal pick his numbers. Since Utah does not have a state lottery, he says he likes to play when he travels, especially when the jackpot is high. The jackpot for the first drawing (December 29) on his ticket was worth $441 million.

It wasn’t until he returned home several days later that he checked his ticket.

“The number seven Powerball jumped out at me at first because my birthday is on the seventh. I looked at it (the ticket) some more and was like, ‘Oh wait a minute, I matched five numbers!’”

Uncertain of how much he had won, he immediately went to the Reddit app where he posted, “I was one number away from winning the jackpot.” Moments later, someone responded, “You won $50K!” He proceeded to do research confirming the information he received was correct.

“This is crazy.  I’ve never had this much money fall into my lap. It’s amazing,” he said.

He told lottery officials he put the winning ticket on the refrigerator until he could figure out how to get back to Kentucky.  After switching assignments with a coworker so that he’d have a layover in Louisville, he made his way to lottery headquarters last week to claim his ticket.

After taxes, he received a check for $35,500.  “I’m still in shock.  When I got the check, I was like, wow.”

He says he thinks he’ll use the winnings for a down payment on a house.

Airport Shell in Hebron will receive $500 for selling the winning ticket.

Kentucky Lottery

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