Santa Clara County co-workers win $543-million Mega Millions drawing

Posted at 1:38 PM, Aug 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-04 13:30:03-04

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif. (KGTV) — A group of Santa Clara County coworkers is more than $540 million richer.

The 11 co-workers who pitched $2 a piece into an office lottery pool successfully matched all the winning numbers of the July 24 Mega Millions drawing.

The co-workers, who range in age from 21 to 60, decided to play on a whim after seeing how high the jackpot had reached. They have declined to say where they work, other than it's in the financial industry.

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“It was spur of the moment. ‘Hey, did you hear about the jackpot? We should play.’” Roland Reyes, one of the lucky winners, told California Lottery officials.

While the group doesn't regularly have a lottery pool, Reyes seemed to know where to go for tickets.

“A small business owner. We’ll probably have a better chance with a mom and pop shop,” Reyes said, leading him to Ernie’s Liquors, at 2808 South White Road in San Jose.

Surprisingly, the group plans to continue working. Though their supervisor would have understood if they decided to leave — he was in the lottery pool as well.

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“We want to keep our jobs,” Reyes said. “We love that company. We love what we’ve built there. We have a good time and want to stay together.”

It wasn't clear whether the winners would take the annualized amount of $543 million spread over 30 years or the lump-sum cash option of $320.5 million.

Many mentioned putting the money toward mortgages, kids' tuition, helping family members, and traveling.

“It helps real people and families,” Reyes said.