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$207M Mega Millions lottery winners happy, but waiting

Mega MillionsMega Millions: $207M Mega Millions lottery winners happy, but waiting

PIQUA, Ohio — A city streets department employee from Piqua, Ohio, confirmed he is one of the winners of a $207 million Mega Millions jackpot and said that all but one of the winning ticket holders are also city employees.

"When the time's right, we'll come forward," the Piqua man said on Sunday, Dec. 14.

He spoke on condition that his name and age not be published yet, citing a desire not to upstage his fellow winners. 16 people have a stake in the winnings; 14 are from the streets department.

The man said he had no plans to quit his job, despite potentially collecting more than $10 million.

Piqua attorney John E. "Jack" Hemm, who represents all of the winners, said the city too will benefit from income tax on the winnings.

"It's a very exciting thing for these people," he said. "These are just regular working folks.... All of a sudden their lives have changed, their spouses' lives have changed and their children's lives have changed."

The Piqua man said he and other winners of the drawing played regularly, chipping in $1 each on Tuesdays and Fridays.

The man said he and the others have already made their decision on whether they will collect a lump sum payment of $143 million or annual payments over the next 26 years.

But he declined to say which option they picked.

The winners have 180 days to claim their prize.

The Miami County city of 20,600 buzzed all weekend about who the winners might be.

"It's got everybody talking," said Paul Gutmann, a retired attorney, while stopping by the Apple Tree Gallery in downtown Piqua with his wife, Rosemary.

One person joked, "I guess it wasn't you because you're still at work," recalled Rick Robinson, a 40-year employee at Barclay's, a downtown clothing store.

News of the jackpot making multimillionaires of several locals comes less than two months after the Fort Piqua Plaza, a hulking structure towering over the downtown that for decades had been in disrepair, reopened after a $20 million renovation.

Like that restored landmark, the jackpot's winners have given residents of a city beset by decades of economic decline another point of pride.

"It puts Piqua on the map," Robinson said. "People are excited and joyous that, at this time of year, this could happen to people they know."

Kroger's Piqua store said it will donate to local charities the $100,000 it received for selling the winning ticket.

That pleased Rosemary Gutmann.

"At this time of year, what could be better and more appropriate?" she said.

Winners show up for work

Mayor Thomas Hudson thinks there soon will be openings in the street department, although all showed up for work Monday.

They were jubilant, but some had mixed emotions, he said.

"They were excited, but some said it hadn't sunk in yet and that trying to decide how to handle everything was causing a lot of anxiety," Enderle said. "I met with everyone and told them to take a couple of days off to think about what they want to do."

Enderle wouldn't identify the workers, who have asked to remain anonymous for now.

He said some had said they wanted to come back to work.

"If they want to move on, we understand that too," he said.

Piqua, a city of 20,500 residents about 25 miles north of Dayton, has 20 employees in its street department, but Enderle said other workers could be switched on a temporary basis to any positions that come open until permanent replacements were found.

He declined to identify the departments where the other two winners work, saying it would be more difficult to maintain their anonymity.

"I just don't know what to expect until folks tell me what they want to do," he said.

The employees have been pooling their money for about five years, although not everyone participated in every drawing, Enderle said.

"I'm sure everyone was happy for the group, but some folks probably will have to deal with feelings of being left behind because they didn't put money in that one," he said.

At least some of the winners have contacted a lawyer.

Attorney John Hemm said he started receiving phone calls from several of the winners soon after he heard the winning ticket was sold in Piqua. They will need to decide how to claim the ticket and have their financial arrangements in order before going to the Ohio Lottery Commission, he said.

"These people need information," said Hemm, who is trying to get a team together to help the winners with their planning.

Hemm said he hopes to know by mid- to late-week when and if the winners will comment publicly.

Some winners set up a trust to claim jackpots while keeping their identities from being disclosed.

Lottery spokeswoman Sandra Neal said the winner must decide whether to accept a one-time cash payoff of $142.7 million or take $207 million in 26 annual payments of $7.9 million.

"If it's a group, they all have to agree on the type of payment," she said.

The winning numbers were 10, 16, 19, 27 and 48, with the Mega Ball being 25.

The winning ticket was sold at a Kroger supermarket, where store officials said the $100,000 received from the lottery for selling the winning ticket will be donated to local charities.

The record jackpot for the Mega Millions game was $390 million in March 2007 with winners in Georgia and New Jersey, Neal said.

AP, Dayton Daily News, Lottery Post Staff

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51 comments. Last comment 6 years ago by DC81.
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RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
mid-Ohio
United States
Member #9
March 24, 2001
17840 Posts
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Posted: December 17, 2008, 3:32 pm - IP Logged

"The winning ticket was sold at a Kroger supermarket, where store officials said the $100,000 received from the lottery for selling the winning ticket will be donated to local charities."

Employees at this store won't have to think about how they will spend their share of the store bonus for selling the winning ticket since they don't get a share.  In the past some LP members who worked at a store that sold lottery tickets thought they were entitled to something if their store sold a jackpot winning ticket.

* you don't need more tickets, just the right ticket * 
* your best chance to win a lottery jackpot is to buy a ticket * 
    Wink 

    x1kosmic's avatar - neptune vg2.gif

    United States
    Member #48046
    December 7, 2006
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    Posted: December 17, 2008, 3:51 pm - IP Logged

    Let's see.....  16 people won  something like $140  Million  to split?

    I'm pretty sure they can quit their jobs,  collect 401k's  retirement, and all that.

    It'll open up jobs for folks who need, and want to work. 

    Mabey someday my group will get Lucky.  (we've  got 20 people)

      Stew12's avatar - bad egg-64x64.png
      CT
      United States
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      May 21, 2008
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      Posted: December 17, 2008, 4:03 pm - IP Logged

      "If it's a group, they all have to agree on the type of payment," she said.

      Interesting that with Powerball, the payments can be split individually with some members receiving cash and the others receiving annuity if they so desire.

        s5thomps's avatar - Lottery-033.jpg
        Hard Luck, Ak
        United States
        Member #23472
        October 13, 2005
        251 Posts
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        Posted: December 17, 2008, 4:49 pm - IP Logged

        I am glad that it was a group that won and not one indivdual. Like President-elect Obama said to Joe the Plumber, " Let's spread the wealth around!" I also think that Kroger should have split the bonus money among their employees that work there. That would have been a nice bonus for the holidays. I think that the company was just looking at the tax implications of donating 100K.

        Drum

          LottoPools's avatar - bee
          Houston, TX
          United States
          Member #4496
          April 29, 2004
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          Posted: December 17, 2008, 5:41 pm - IP Logged

          Mmmmm.  Wasn't it a situation similar to this one that caused a lawsuit in CA?  Someone who usually played in a MM pool didn't play when the group won but they thought they were entitled to some of the money so they sued and held up payment of the winnings.  Don't remember what the outcome was.  I hope this group doesn't have this problem.  I like lottery pools but they have to be more structured than this one.  I'll be glad when it's my pool's turn to win.  We've been playing for a few years and haven't hit anything.

          Good luck to all the pools out there.

          ________________________

          Playing together to make a splash in the pool of lottery winners.  It's just a matter of time.

            Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
            Chief Bottle Washer
            New Jersey
            United States
            Member #1
            May 31, 2000
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            Posted: December 17, 2008, 6:24 pm - IP Logged

            "If it's a group, they all have to agree on the type of payment," she said.

            Interesting that with Powerball, the payments can be split individually with some members receiving cash and the others receiving annuity if they so desire.

            Actually, it has more to do with what state they won the prize in (Ohio).  If I recall, several years ago a group of Georgia players split a Mega Millions jackpot and was able to get payouts in different ways.  Also, it's possible that the lawyer quoted in the article was wrong.

             

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              justxploring's avatar - villiarna
              Wandering Aimlessly
              United States
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              November 5, 2005
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              Posted: December 17, 2008, 6:33 pm - IP Logged

              I agree with Todd.   In Florida only one winner is paid if a group wins.  An attorney can set up a Trust and the check will be payable to the Trust, taxes will be deducted, and then the attorney can split the shares according to the agreement.   At least that's the way I understand the rules. 

                RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                mid-Ohio
                United States
                Member #9
                March 24, 2001
                17840 Posts
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                Posted: December 17, 2008, 6:34 pm - IP Logged

                I am glad that it was a group that won and not one indivdual. Like President-elect Obama said to Joe the Plumber, " Let's spread the wealth around!" I also think that Kroger should have split the bonus money among their employees that work there. That would have been a nice bonus for the holidays. I think that the company was just looking at the tax implications of donating 100K.

                Drum

                What better way to "spread the wealth" than to donate the money to local charities?

                * you don't need more tickets, just the right ticket * 
                * your best chance to win a lottery jackpot is to buy a ticket * 
                    Wink 

                  justxploring's avatar - villiarna
                  Wandering Aimlessly
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                  Posted: December 17, 2008, 6:50 pm - IP Logged

                  What better way to "spread the wealth" than to donate the money to local charities?

                  I Agree!

                    ThatScaryChick's avatar - AbnSTiA

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                    Posted: December 17, 2008, 7:15 pm - IP Logged

                    What better way to "spread the wealth" than to donate the money to local charities?

                    I also agree.

                    "No one remembers the person who almost climbed the mountain, only the person who eventually gets to the top."

                      GamerMom's avatar - tails

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                      Posted: December 17, 2008, 7:19 pm - IP Logged

                      I am glad that it was a group that won and not one indivdual. Like President-elect Obama said to Joe the Plumber, " Let's spread the wealth around!" I also think that Kroger should have split the bonus money among their employees that work there. That would have been a nice bonus for the holidays. I think that the company was just looking at the tax implications of donating 100K.

                      Drum

                      I agree; I think anybody working at Kroger would be just as deserving of that money as any charity.  I can't imagine they make much more than minimum wage.   how sad.   It would be interesting to note where Kroger donated it's $$$ to.

                        s5thomps's avatar - Lottery-033.jpg
                        Hard Luck, Ak
                        United States
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                        October 13, 2005
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                        Posted: December 17, 2008, 7:33 pm - IP Logged

                        I agree; I think anybody working at Kroger would be just as deserving of that money as any charity.  I can't imagine they make much more than minimum wage.   how sad.   It would be interesting to note where Kroger donated it's $$$ to.

                        Thanks GamerMom!, That is exactly the point that I was trying to make.

                          Avatar

                          United States
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                          Posted: December 17, 2008, 8:47 pm - IP Logged

                          When you divide the after-tax lump sum by 16, it comes out about the same you'd get as a sole winner of the minimum jackpot. The idea of these pools is so that you're playing the equivalent of 80 tickets but as if for the minimum pot, which would be equivalent to playing $5 yourself on your local State's Lotto. I join them if I can because even $2M would be life-changing.

                          I certify that, to the best of my knowledge, I am not related to or know anyone in Piqua, and my only connection there is a few friends in "nearby" Columbus.

                            emilyg's avatar - cat anm.gif
                            Miss Kitty

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                            Posted: December 17, 2008, 9:02 pm - IP Logged

                            What better way to "spread the wealth" than to donate the money to local charities?

                            Exactly.

                            love to nibble those micey feet.