SYRACUSE N.Y. – The New York Lottery’s Gretchen Dizer today presented an over-sized prize check to a group of 22 coworkers who collectively won $1,000,000 from the December 13, 2013 Mega Millions drawing. The winners work together for the City of Syracuse in the Department of Engineering and the Department of Finance.
The coworkers start an office pool whenever the jackpot gets over $100 million, and Ray Wills of Syracuse is responsible for purchasing the group’s Quick Pick tickets. On Friday, December 13, the day of the drawing, Wills went to the Hess Mart at 400 Erie Boulevard East in Syracuse to purchase the group’s ticket. “The jackpot for that evening’s drawing was $425 million, so everybody chipped in, and I bought the tickets,” said Wills.
The next day Wills said, “I didn’t know right away that we won. One of my coworkers called me on Saturday morning asking me if he was reading the numbers the right way.” Wills said he rebooted his computer several times to make sure the numbers were right. Once he finally believed they had the winning numbers for the $1,000,000 second prize, he started calling the group members to let them know of their good fortune.
“It was one of the greatest experiences I’ve had in my life,” Wills said about being able to break such awesome news to his coworkers. The good news spread to all but two of the 22 group members. They waited to tell those two in person because neither of them was aware that they were part of the pool as other group members put in money on their behalf. Wills said when they realized they had won a $1,000,000 prize, “we were all shocked” and everyone was extremely happy.
The coworkers claimed their prize December 17 at the Lottery’s Syracuse Customer Service Center. The group will collectively split the prize and will receive $661,800 after required withholdings. Some of the group members’ plans for their portion of the winnings include paying bills, paying student loans and donations to charity.
The group members are all from Syracuse and consist of:
The winning numbers from the December 13 Mega Millions drawing were 19-24-26-27-70
Mega Ball 12.
The New York Lottery contributed $105,227,174.87 in Lottery aid to education to school districts in Onondaga County during fiscal year 2012-2013.