A group of 16 co-workers at the Ocean County Vehicle Maintenance Department in New Jersey, dubbed "Ocean's 16," have apparently snagged the last of the three Powerball tickets that will split the $448 million jackpot. On Thursday morning, hours after realizing that they had won the drawing, all of them showed up to work.
According to the Press of Atlantic City, the winning ticket came from the Little Egg Harbor Acme Market, in Little Egg Harbor Township, a community hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. More than 4,000 of the waterfront town’s homes were affected by the storm in October, and many residents are reportedly still struggling to rebuild.
The 16 workers have not yet been identified, but they all work at the department garage in Toms River. Jim Pine, the director of the Vehicle Maintenance Department, said that he would protect his employees’ privacy, describing them only as a “really great group of people.”
“I couldn’t be more happy for them,” he said. “They’re a group of wonderful, hardworking people, and them showing up for work today ought to tell you something.”
This is my staff. They’re right now trying to work through this. They got lucky,” he added.
Divided between the three winning tickets, each Powerball ticket, originally worth $86 million, will amount to $58.3 after taxes. The winning ticket holders also have the option to take an annuity payout, in which case they will receive $149.3 million over 30 years, or if the loot was evenly divided among the Ocean County co-workers, $9.3 million apiece.
The day following drawing, which was held at 10:59 p.m. on Wednesday night, speculation ran high throughout the town. Mabel Dodrill, 75, who shopped for groceries at Acme Market on Thursday, said that she received multiple phone calls from relatives around the state asking if she had hit the jackpot.
“It wasn’t me, I was telling everybody this morning,” Dodrill said. “I played the Powerball the other day, but I only had the Powerball number. It was 32. I bought some scratch-off tickets and won $52, though.”
The winning numbers were: 05, 25, 30, 58, 59 and Powerball 32. Powerball officials say that the odds of correctly getting all six numbers are 1 in 175.2 million. The current Powerball record belongs to 84-year-old Florida resident Gloria MacKenzie, who won a $590 million jackpot in May.
Phil Weber, the store’s director, said he had not yet found out from Powerball what the store’s share of the takings would be. The other two Powerball tickets were sold in Middlesex County, N.J. and in Minnesota.