An office pool of 11 co-workers in California claimed the Mega Millions winning jackpot prize of $543 million after the July 24 drawing.
“It was spur of the moment,” one of the winners, Roland Reyes told the California Lottery. “‘Hey, did you hear about the jackpot? We should play,'” he said. The group showed up together to the Lottery’s East Bay District Office in Hayward on July 25 to collect their winning prize, the largest jackpot in California Lottery history.
The group, between the ages of 21 and 60, each chipped in $2 to the pool before purchasing the lottery tickets from a “small business owner.” Reyes said he wanted to get the tickets from a local mom & pop shop, adding, “We’ll probably have a better chance.” They bought their winning ticket — a Quick Pick that matched the numbers 19-2-4-1-29 and the Mega number 20 — at Ernie’s Liquors in San Jose.
“If I could win, anybody could win. We’re just normal people!” Reyes said. The group declined to share where they work, but said it was in the financial industry. The Mercury News later reported that the group works at Wells Fargo.
But the 11 coworkers weren’t the only winners. The Sachdev family, who owns Ernie’s Liquors, also received a $1 million bonus for selling the winning ticket, NBC Bay Area reported.
The Sachdev family is thrilled they sold a winning #MegaMillions jackpot ticket at their store Ernie's Liquors in #SanJose. They're getting dozens of calls, facetiming with family around the country.— Ian Cull (@NBCian) July 25, 2018
Owner says some of their cut will go to charities and employees. pic.twitter.com/bG00hBinsv
“I wish these winners very well and hope they do some good work, some charity work, and take care of their families and friends,” said Kewal Sachdev.