By MATT THACKER
Two friends from Clark County were announced Thursday as winners of the $221.7 million Powerball jackpot.
Todd Reardon, 38, of Jeffersonville, and Darin Fox, 32, of Clarksville, were joined by friends, family, lawyers and accounts as they presented their winning tickets at the Hoosier Lottery Headquarters.
Reardon and Fox worked together as welders for the past eight years, although the men now call themselves “retired welders,” according to a news release from Hoosier Lottery. Munich Welding in Jeffersonville confirmed the men are still listed as active employees at their company.
The men became good friends working together and would pool their money to purchase Hoosier Lotto tickets for every drawing. On April 6, they decided to play the Powerball since the jackpot was so big.
"We put $2 on Hoosier Lotto and $2 on Powerball and the rest has been a whirlwind,” Fox said.
The two men take turns purchasing the tickets and switch off when one hits a losing streak. Fox purchased the winning ticket at Circle K at 8120 Eastern Blvd. in Clarksville. The ticket was the only one nationwide to match all six numbers: 10-18-41-55-56 PB: 15.
Hoosier Lottery Executive Director Kathryn Densborn presented the men with their winnings at a press conference Thursday afternoon. The retailer that sold the winning ticket will receive $100,000.
Fox said at the press conference that winning has been “overwhelming.” The pair said they always talked about what they would do if they won, but now they want to proceed slowly.
“It’s been a whirlwind figuring all this out,” Fox said. “I’m used to living paycheck to paycheck.”
Fox is not married. Reardon is married, and he and his wife, Tiffany, have an 11-year-old son. Tiffany said she wasted no time walking away from her job in record-keeping at Humana.
In the near future, Fox plans to buy a new Ford F250 truck and Tiffany Reardon wants a new Black Ops Jeep Wrangler. Her husband purchased a new Jeep a week prior to winning and is excited to pay it off.
Eventually both men, who are avid hunters, would like to purchase land on which to hunt. Fox also has plans to buy his parents a house and his mother a convertible.
“It’s been fun watching all this,” Fox’s father, Russell, said. “It’s one of those dreams that you don’t really think is going to come true.”
His son was feeling a bit more optimistic, responding, “Everybody plays to win. That’s why we buy tickets, right?”
The men could have received the full amount as a 30-year annuity or in a lump sum of $111.7 million before taxes. They chose to take the lump sum, which they received Thursday. After taxes, each received slightly more than $40 million.
This was the third-largest jackpot ever won in Indiana. The Hoosier Lottery has paid larger jackpots only twice — $295 million in 1998 and $314 million in 2007.
The odds of winning the jackpot was one in more than 195 million.