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One very lucky day for a group of co-workers



Published: Wed, June 22, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The $16 million jackpot will be split among 11 co-workers, who all pitched in $1 Friday to buy the tickets.

By PEGGY SINKOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

HOWLAND -- Screams of joy could be heard throughout Howland Giant Eagle as three women found out they had won Saturday's $16 million Super Lotto jackpot.

Shortly after noon Tuesday, the women, who work at a local dentist's office, went to the store to find out if they indeed had won the jackpot.

"We won, oh my God, we won," one woman said, as she leaned back on the service counter for support. "I can't believe it."

The women, who asked not to have their names or where they work published, were quickly on cell phones to tell loved ones about their good fortune.

The jackpot will be split with eight other co-workers, who all pitched in $1 Friday to buy the tickets.

Happy accident

The women explained that the winning ticket was actually purchased by mistake. The staff had meant to buy Mega Millions tickets but the office worker who purchased the tickets asked for the Super Lotto instead.

When the tickets were brought back to the office, they put them away and forgot about them until Tuesday morning.

"My husband said today that maybe we won so when I got to work I checked, and I still can't believe it," one woman said.

Since the group chose the cash option they will receive $8 million before taxes. After taxes the jackpot will be about $5.72 million, a spokesman with the Ohio Lottery Commission said.

Supportive group

The women said the winnings will help many members of the staff, which includes single mothers.

One woman said the staff always tries to help each other and that on Friday when she didn't have a dollar with her to chip in for a ticket, another co-worker put the money in for her.

The women said they had no immediate plans except to return to work.

"I am so happy for you guys," said Renetta Macina, a front-end manager at the store, as she congratulated the winners. "I wish I could pop open a bottle of champagne."

Store manager Chuck Lamping concurred, saying it was great that the winners were from the area.

Macina noted that the women may have brought good luck to the store.

"Shortly after they left a worker decided to take her chance with the instant tickets and ended up winning $100," Macina said.

sinkovich@vindy.com




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