48 SEPTA workers win $172.7M Powerball

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Here's a token of good news: 48 SEPTA workers are winners of Wednesday night's $172.7-million Powerball.

By all accounts, the air was electric at SEPTA headquarters, but as elated as the 48 SEPTA workers are said to be, they told SEPTA media relations they wanted to remain anonymous as was apparent Thursday tonight.

A worker leaving SEPTA headquarters said "no comment" and it was clear he was not changing his mind.

SEPTA spokesman Richard Maloney says the 48 SEPTA employees range the whole gamut of workers from upper management, finance, purchasing and union members.

They all stand to collect about $3.5-million each if they take the 30 year annuity or $2.5-million if they take the onetime payment.

"Some are talking about retiring; some have already said 'no, we're going to continue working.' It's a lot of money, but if you're a young person that's not a whole lot of money," Maloney said.

Colleagues say many of the employees worked on the 11th floor.

"You go up there, you feel the vibe. It's just so great just to walk up on the floor, just to hear somebody that close to you won," SEPTA employee Cynthia Griffin said.

One of the winners was a janitor which thrilled his buddies on the custodial staff.

"I'm very happy he won, he always said when he wins, he wins it with a whole lot of money and he done it today," coworker Wanda Alexander said.

Maloney said some of the winners were very coy about their new found wealth, while others were "dancing in the hallway."

The 48 SEPTA workers had put in $5 each to buy 120 tickets

Maloney said the group buys tickets regularly, but says it's more of a floating pool.

It turns out, an IT technician who usual contributes to the pool did not this time.

"She didn't pay up recently, they sent her an email and she didn't respond so she was out on the winnings," SEPTA employee Mitch Schwed said.

The winning ticket was sold three blocks down from SEPTA headquarters at the News Stand at the Gallery, 9th and Market streets in Center City.

"We're excited to have sold this jackpot-winning Powerball ticket in Pennsylvania, and this will be the second Powerball jackpot we get to award in just five months," Pennsylvania Lottery Executive Director Todd Rucci said. "Today also marks the 23rd anniversary of the April 26, 1989, Super 7 drawing that awarded $115.5 million to 14 winning tickets and still holds the record as the largest jackpot awarded by the Lottery."

Wednesday's jackpot-winning Powerball ticket correctly matched all five white balls, 04-25-29-34-43, plus the red Powerball, 29.

On Thursday, standing in front of the store where the winning Powerball ticket was sold, Rucci presented the owner of the News Stand at the Gallery with a $100,000 check for selling that jackpot-winning ticket. Rucci said the store had been a lottery retailer since 2001.

Another Powerball ticket worth $2 million from the April 25 drawing was sold at Giant Eagle, 105 Robertson St., West Newton, Westmoreland County. That ticket correctly matched all five white balls but not the red Powerball. The retailer will receive a $10,000 bonus for selling this winning ticket.

For the Saturday, April 28 drawing, the Powerball jackpot returns to an estimated $40 million annuity and $24.9 million cash prize.

Pennsylvania has sold 15 jackpot-winning tickets since joining Powerball, including Wednesday's winning ticket. The most recent jackpot-winning ticket sold in Pennsylvania was for the Nov. 19, 2011, drawing, when a $37.6 million cash prize was awarded to a Luzerne County man.

One final note, some of the SEPTA employees have worked for the company for as little as two years and one of them for over 40 years. Now, they all are instant millionaires.

The Powerball drawing is shown on 6abc every Wednesday and Saturday night during Action News at 11:00 p.m.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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