19 Nonprofit Workers Split $723,000 Powerball® Prize!
SACRAMENTO – A group of 19 workers, who spend their days helping others, has won $723,452 after matching five of six numbers in the February 12th Powerball draw.
The group members, who are between 40 and 60 years old, all work next door to each other at three different nonprofits in Sacramento: Sierra Health Foundation, Community Health Charities of California and Sacramento Covered.
Over the last three years, anytime the jackpots would start to swell the workers would put in a few bucks. Since they’ve been doing this for some time, they follow a bit of a routine. Group member Fernando Loyola always buys the tickets. He goes to the same store every time, A-1 Mart on W. El Camino, and only buys Quick Pick® tickets. This time around Loyola purchased 18 tickets.
The day after the draw, Loyola went back to the store the check the tickets. When he discovered his group had won big, he started shaking. After double and triple-checking the ticket, Loyola was ready to share the big news with the group. But get this, he didn’t do it in person or even by phone, he sent an email. His message read, “Guess what? We got five numbers and won $723,452.”
“I called him and said, ‘Are you messing with us?’” said Kathleen Mathews, a member of the group. She says Loyola is a bit of a joker, so no one believed him at first. But moments later Loyola walked into Mathews’ office and she said, “Everyone started screaming.”
Days later the group gathered so they could organize their paperwork for the claim process. During that meeting, while seated around a table, each person took a turn to talk about how they planned to spend their share of the money. With a group this size, the list varied but most people planned to pay off their bills, buy a new car or remodel their home.
The lucky ticket matched the winning numbers 36, 44, 49, 52 and 57 – missing only the Powerball number of 1. The ticket was purchased at A-1 Mart, which is located at 2550 W. El Camino #1 in Sacramento (Sacramento County). This is the second time the store has sold a ticket that’s come within one number of hitting the jackpot. Back in October 2012, A-1 Mart sold a Mega Millions® ticket that matched five of six numbers and was worth $250,000.
Powerball is a multistate game played in California (and 42 other states, plus the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands). Draw times are Wednesdays and Saturdays at 7:59 p.m. PST. Tickets sales are suspended from 7:00 p.m. to 7:05 p.m. the day of the draw. Tickets are $2 and can be purchased from any of the more than 21,000 California Lottery retailers. Please visit the California Lottery’s Powerball site for more information on how to play.
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