Eleine Sanchez and June Delgado are two of the luckiest women in the world.
The two Latinas are part of a group of county government employees in New Jersey who had one of three winning tickets in last week’s $448 million Powerball jackpot.
The group appeared at a news conference on Tuesday where they were introduced as the lucky lotto winners. The nine women and seven men, who call themselves the “Ocean’s 16,” a play on the popular movie Ocean’s Eleven, will take home a lump sum of $86 million – or $3.8 million per person after taxes.
“I’m very excited. It’s hard to believe that it’s happening,” Sanchez said at the Tuesday press conference.
Like the rest of the 16 winners, Sanchez and Delgado work in Ocean County’s vehicle maintenance department. They have been buying tickets together for 16 years. But last Wednesday, when they each chipped in $6, would prove to be their lucky moment.
“This is an amazing group of people, and it’s been a roller coaster since Thursday,” said Brian McCarthy, the winning group’s appointed spokesman.
The Ocean’s 16 bought their lotto ticket at an Acme supermarket in Little Egg Harbor, which got a $30,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket. The supermarket donated the cash to a local food bank and other charities.
Little Egg Harbor is a small township in New Jersey just a few miles away from where the heart of Hurricane Sandy created devastating damage. According to Lottery spokeswoman Judith Drucker, at least six of the winners were personally affected by the storm.
And what have Sanchez and Delgado been doing since they found out they were millionaires?
Going to work.
All of the winners showed up to work the day following their big jackpot draw. When asked at the press conference whether the winners planned to continue working at the same job, Sanchez vigorously nodded her head – indicating a definite “yes.”