Huge Mega Millions Jackpot Claimed By Office Pool

Monday August 6th 2018

The 11 office workers who teamed up to win the Mega Millions jackpot on Tuesday July 24th have revealed that it was a ‘spur of the moment’ decision to buy a ticket for the eagerly-awaited drawing, after coming forward to claim their $543 million prize.

The jackpot had initially been estimated as $522 million, but was later announced to be even higher following a late surge of sales. Split between the 11 members of the pool, the $543 million jackpot works out as over $49 million each.

Winners Plan To Keep Working

The lucky winners kept a lot of information under wraps as the news of their success was made public. Only one of them, Robert Reyes, represented the group as the California Lottery issued a statement on the group’s behalf. It was also confirmed that the players came from Santa Clara County in San Jose, and their ages ranged from 21 to 60.

They work in the financial industry, and none of them have any plans to retire just yet despite their newfound wealth.  “We want to keep our jobs,” Reyes said through the news release. We love that company. We love what we’ve built there. We have a good time and want to stay together.”

The office workers do not have a regular lottery pool and had not bought any tickets in the previous 22 drawings as the jackpot grew from its starting point of $40 million. However, they could not resist once the top prize got past $500 million so they spent $2 each on tickets at Ernie’s Liquors, at 2808 South White Road in San Jose.

Describing the thinking behind the group’s decision to go to Ernie’s Liquors, Reyes said: “A small business owner. We’ll probably have a better chance with a mom & pop shop.”  Reyes added: “It was spur of the moment. ‘Hey, did you hear about the jackpot? We should play’.”

‘Helps Real People and Families’

The lucky group can now lay claim to being the biggest winners on a single ticket in the history of the California Lottery. Officials did not say whether the winners had decided to take the full annuitized amount in 30 yearly instalments, or the one-off lump sum of $320.5 million. Plans for the money include paying off mortgages, college tuition, helping family members and travelling. “It helps real people and families,” said Reyes.

The revised jackpot made it the largest Mega Millions prize won on the game this year, topping the $533 million won by Richard Wahl from New Jersey in March. The jackpot has already climbed back up to $55 million since July 24th, while Powerball is also at a colossal $223 million.

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