As fans of the gaming world anxiously awaited a $530 million Mega Millions lottery jackpot Friday night, two best friends from Greenville were already splitting a big prize they won last month, using a new system of buying tickets.
Ronnie Couling and Brandon Maynard recently claimed $50,000 they won playing Powerball using Jackpocket, an app which allows players to purchase their tickets through their phones.
“I regularly play the Texas lottery, but I don’t like going to the store, ever,’ Couling said.
He and Maynard pool their lottery tickets, but Maynard is usually the one called upon to buy them,
“But then I found out about Jackpocket, tried it out and saw that it was good,” Couling said.
There is even a Private Pools feature that lets people start their own private lottery groups, which resulted in Couling and Maynard creating “Brothers.” They were the only members and both enjoyed how convenient it was to play the lottery on their phones.
“It is so easy to do,” Couling said. “Now Brandon doesn’t have to go to the store all the time.”
“It was super easy,” Maynard said.
Over the years the two aircraft mechanics have won a few small prizes playing the lottery.
“We’d won $20 here and there,” Couling said.
But three weeks after starting to play Jackpocket, the friends learned they had matched 4 numbers and the Powerball in the May 15 drawing to win $50,000.
Maynard had just returned from a cruise and was still on the ship when Couling called to say they were splitting the prize 50/50.
“I didn’t think it was real at first,” Maynard said.
The pair went to the Texas Lottery headquarters in Dallas to verify their claim,
“And the next day we get the cash,” Maynard said.
The two already have plans for the money.
“A down payment for a house,” Couling said.
Maynard intends to make some upgrades to his residence, but he also had some fun in mind. He apologized when he was the last to arrive for a Friday morning conference call.
“We went and bought a new kayak yesterday,” he said. “I just got back from fishing.”
And the pair intend to keep on playing Jackpocket, with some changes.
“We had to make a separate private pool,” Couling said, in addition to the established “Brothers. “We’re not letting just anybody join our pool.”
After all, Hayward said, word of the pair’s luck has gotten around.
“It has gone from just the two of us to seven people in the past week,” he said.
Additional information from the Texas Lottery about the Jackpocket app is available at www.jackpocket.com