PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A $1 million lottery ticket purchased in Lindenwold, New Jersey is going to a group of hospital employees in South Jersey — and one patient.
The patient was brought to the hospital after he’d been hurt trying to buy a lottery ticket, so the employees, while taking care of his injuries, also took care of getting him a ticket.
There were lots of hugs and smiles at Jefferson Stratford Hospital where 142 people in a lottery pool won $1 million.
Among the winners is 87-year-old patient Earl Livingston. He was walking to buy a Mega Millions lottery ticket on Tuesday when he fell and broke his hip.
Lamenting his bad luck and disappointment over not getting a ticket, Livingston was invited by hospital employees to join their pool.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Livingston’s niece, MaryAnn Bartnick, said. “I kept saying that I could not believe, it’s just kind and nice and it’s nice to know there are still good people in this world. It’s wonderful we can’t thank them enough.”
Livingston’s nieces say their uncle is thrilled and filled with gratitude. They brought a tray of snacks for the staff to show their appreciation.
“We were overwhelmed and humbled that they did this,” niece Bobbie Mickle said. “They didn’t have to put money in for him, they didn’t have to tell him he won, they’re just honest good people and it’s just a heartwarming story that there are nice people in this world.”
Nurse Steve Grill is among the winners who’s also helping take care of Livingston.
“Look, I got goosebumps,” he said. “It’s awesome because a lot of people could use the money — holidays coming up — it’s good to help other people.”
After federal and local taxes — about 32 percent in New Jersey, according to Mega Millions — each person is estimated to get about $4,800.
“I didn’t believe it at first, then I started thinking, ‘Oh my, what are we going to do with all this?'” nurse administrator Marianne Kraemer said.
The winning ticket — that cost just $2 — matched five numbers but not the Powerball.
They missed out on the $1.5 billion prize, but this group is more than happy with their million.
“We’re going to Disney, really yes, taking the kids in August,” Grill said.
Livingston is having surgery Thursday night. He lives alone on a fixed income and says he is going to use his lottery winnings to pay taxes.