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Bryant Health employees hit lucky numbers

Larry Muche, longtime maintenance supervisor at Bryant Health Center, checked the winning lottery numbers he had played for the staff this week, just as he does every Monday morning.

But this Monday was quite a bit different.

To Muche's amazement, the numbers he had played matched five of the Kentucky Powerball's winning numbers - 5-8-10-16-24 (5).

"I was really excited," Muche said. "It's hard to believe seeing five straight numbers in a row. I was really surprised; I kept looking at it a couple of times to make sure," he said. "I went to my administrator and told her that I think we hit five numbers, and I thought it paid $100,000."

Muche was correct, and just like that, after 20 years of playing the lottery, the employees of the Bryant Health Center were richer by $100,000 after beating the 1 in 2.9 million odds.

Of course, none of the Bryant employees are quitting their jobs just yet. The prize will be split between the 25 employees at Bryant Health Center that played.

Though each employee will only be getting about $4,000 of the prize, Director of Nursing Kathleen Lemaster did not seem too disappointed.

"Hey, it's better than what we had," Lemaster said. "It made this Monday a really great Monday."

But, she admits, things might be different if their sixth number had been a match.

"If we'd have hit that sixth number, we probably wouldn't be sitting here now," Lemaster said with a laugh.

The employees of the Bryant Health Center do not have any special method of playing; in fact they let their numbers be randomly chosen by computer.

Debbie Moore, an administrative assistant with the health center, said many of the employees already had plans for the cash.

"Some people have already said that they were going to go ahead and take a vacation that they normally wouldn't get to do, some people are just going to get things fixed around the house," Moore said. "Everybody's really happy."

Muche guessed he would probably put the money into savings, as he just purchased a new car that he is trying to pay off.

Bryant Health Center activities director Debbie Osborne joked that she was trying to keep the winnings a secret from her children so she could have a private getaway.

"We're all going on vacation!" Osborne said. "I'm going to Myrtle Beach with a bunch of friends! Yeah, don't tell the kids."

Activities assistant Debbie West said she was also planning a trip but to Pigeon Forge, and dietary manager Sue Smith had no idea where she was going, she just knew she needed a vacation.

All of the employees' names must now be submitted to the lottery so the money - and tax burden - can be divided equally amongst the lucky lotto players.