13 Nov Group of Friends Win Mega Millions, Except One Gets $200,000 More in Lottery Payments
Mega Millions and Powerball jackpot lotteries can change a person, or group of persons, lives forever. Winning it all for yourself is great, but many friends, co-workers, and family members engage in the strategy of pooling money together to buy tickets. By doing so they’re increasing their odds of winning, while not spending exorbitant amounts of money on their own. Everyone risks the same amount of money with the understanding that any lottery payments won will be split evenly.
Another recent example of these somewhat common group wins occurred in the New York City-area, but with a slight twist. Five long-time friends from Yonkers and New Jersey won a $106 million Mega Millions jackpot, but one of the group winners will actually receive about $200,000 more than the others of the lump sum lottery payments, according to theNew York Post.
No she wasn’t the group’s ring leader, or even the winning ticket buyer. Angela Pajes, a daycare teacher from Basking Ridge, NJ, is the only one in the group of cohorts that doesn’t live in Yonkers, which is subject to more local and state taxes.
The group elected to take the $106 million jackpot in a lump sum versus annuity lottery payments. Mega Millions can be paid out in lottery annuity settlement-style, which entails one immediate payment followed by 29 annual ones that increase by about 5% each year. Their win breaks down to about $13.1 million in individual lump sums lottery payments before taxes. Pajes will receive $8.67 million, while her friends will have to settle for $8.47 million thanks to their home address.
The other four Yonkers winners were limo driver Edgar Lopez, the man who bought the winning ticket, Manuel Hernandez (also a limo driver) and his wife Acela who works as a housekeeper, and Miguel Acosta, a business owner. Considering about half (48%) of lotto winners remain working at their old jobs, one of the two limo drivers might be chauffeuring their friend and fellow winner around from now on.
The winners have all known each other for about 15 years through family and friends. They have played the lottery in group-style fashion, once a week, for at least 10 years. When he discovered he had bought the winning jackpot ticket Lopez was very happy.
“Thank God,” was about all he could manage to convey.
Lopez bought the ticket at Yonkers Grocery and Convenience. The trick now will be if they can all manage and spend their winnings wisely. The odds aren’t exactly with them as 70% of all lotto winners, regardless of amount, lose or spend all their money within five years. Who knows, though! Luck seems to be on their side so far.