And a most merry Christmas it will be for 15 Ohio residents who pooled their money together and found a miracle under the mistletoe.
15 new multimillionaires stepped forward on Wednesday to claim their $207 million jackpot.
Tears were the order of the day.
Associated Press reported from the scene.
“My mom, she won’t stop crying. My sister, she won’t stop crying,” said Jolaine Routson, 46, a Piqua city Parks and Recreation department worker.
The game was the Dec. 12 draw.
The group was met with cheers and applause as they made their first public appearance.
The group chose a lump sum payment of $146,851,243, or $101,327,359 after payment of federal and state taxes.
Here is how it broke down. Fourteen winners each will receive an after-tax check for about $6.3 million. The 15th winner, Richard Donnelly, 58, had two shares in the pool after throwing in an extra buck for his mother.
“We played and played and played. It came through,” Donnelly said. It wasn’t the first time the pool had played the game.
Donnelly will collect around $12.6 million, and his 90-year-old mother will get a new car.
Donnelly, the sole employee in the traffic department, will work at least until someone else knows the job: “I don’t want to leave them cold.”
Piqua Mayor Tom Hudson said he’s known some of the winners all of his life. “This has been a blessing in our community already. What a great time, at Christmas,” Hudson said.
Thomas Hill Jr., 72, the father-in-law of an employee, said he and his wife plan to set up a scholarship in the name of their son, who died of cancer at age 27.
“The first thing I’m going to buy I never had ” a brand new vehicle,” said Loyal Davis Jr., 41.
The group purchased its winning ticket, a $5 wager using the Lottery’s auto-pick feature, at a Kroger store in Piqua, about 30 miles north of Dayton.
“I’ve always said I’ll never get to retire even when I’m old enough,” said Jolaine Routson, 46. “So this is just like a new thought process.”
The win marks Ohio’s third jackpot of the year in the multi-state Mega Millions game. It’s the state’s third-largest jackpot win since joining the game in 2002.
The reactions most of the winners had upon first learning of their win?
Screams and disbelief.
Well, it’s true…and congratulations to everyone in the pool.
I love seeing pools win. In fact, an entire chapter of my new book (due to be released in January 2009) is devoted to lottery pool winners, how to set up a pool, etc.
Meanwhile, whether you are in a pool or not, tonight’s Mega Millions jackpot is worth $16 million.
Tonight’s Euro MIllions has a 15 million Euro jackpot.
And Saturday night’s Powerball jackpot is $57 million.
That’s serious money.
Good luck everyone.