Along with 10 others in the office he works at in Santa Clara County, Roland Reyes pitched in $2 on a whim for the largest prize in California lotto history.
They won the $543 million Mega Millions jackpot with a quick pick ticket.
Ranging from age 21 to 60, the group of financial workers claimed the prize the day after the July 24 draw feeling dumbfounded about their luck.
“If I could win, anybody could win. We’re just normal people!” Reyes said in a press release.
The group didn’t have a normal lottery pool and they told Mega Millions they plan to keep working. Some mentioned using their share of the winnings to pay off mortgages and kids’ college tuition, help family members, go back to school and travel.
The winners can take the entire annuitized amount of $543 million spread out over 30 years or take the final lump-sum cash option of $320.5 million. Both are before federal taxes.
The group has declined to give interviews and to say where they work other than it’s in the “financial industry.”
Jackpot drawings started on May 8. It took 22 rolls before the group’s winning ticket matched the numbers 19-2-4-1-29 and the Mega number 20. Reyes purchased it at Ernie’s Liquors in San Jose because he figured they would have a better chance at a mom and pop shop.
They called each other for a quick meeting they night they won and didn’t have to warn their supervisor because he also participated in the pool. One winner said she plans to invest wisely instead of becoming a “one-time” millionaire.”
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