By Diana Rocco
MANAHAWKIN, N.J., (CBS) — Ocean County officials tell Eyewitness News a group of employees own one of the winning Powerball tickets bought at a local grocery store.
Eyewitness News has learned 16 workers from the Ocean County vehicle maintenance are overnight millionaires, holding one of three winning Powerball tickets. Their ticket was part of an office pool and it was purchased at the Acme in Little Egg Harbor Township and one of two big winners in New Jersey.
The news ended a day of rumor and speculation in the small shore town hit hard by Superstorm Sandy just 10 months ago.
“From what I hear, they’re all like a really great group of guys and they deserve it. And I think one of them was affected by the storm, at least one of them, so they deserve it for sure,” said Brittany Wainwright, of Little Egg Harbor.
They will be splitting one third of a whopping $448 million jackpot.
“I spoke to one for about two minutes on the telephone this evening, and of course, that person was very excited,” said John Kelly, Ocean County Freeholders Director. “All of these employees — they’re hard working, blue collar employees. I mean this is the kind of person we all root for to win.”
The New Jersey Lottery Commission presented a $30,000 check to each store that sold the winner. The other New Jersey ticket was sold at a Super Stop & Shop in South Brunswick. That winner has not come forward to claim their prize.
In this close knit shore town, good news travels fast.
“Hopefully it’s local and the money is spent well in the area,” said another resident.
This will not be official until someone comes forward with a signed ticket, but should these 16 workers choose a lump sum payment, it works out to about $4 million each after taxes.