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Car salesmen lottery pool wins $16 million jackpot

Illinois LotteryIllinois Lottery: Car salesmen lottery pool wins $16 million jackpot

Dan Fontana was set to buy tickets for Saturday's $16 million Illinois Lotto drawing with some friends from work but pulled out at the last minute.

Bad move. Really bad move.

Four of his fellow salesmen at an Oak Lawn auto dealership won the Lotto jackpot. They soon may no longer be his co-workers.

"I came to work and heard about it. After that, I just kind of wanted to go home," Fontana said.

The winners are Jeton Asani, 42, of Orland Park; Arben Gashi, 29, of Worth; his brother Nick Gashi, 28, of Bridgeview; and Chris Matyskiel, 30, of Chicago.

They filed the winning ticket Monday with the Illinois Lottery, opting for a lump-sum payment that's estimated at $1.6 million each after taxes.

Earlier Monday, they quit their jobs at the Haggerty Pontiac-Buick-GMC dealership, general manager Bill Haggerty said.

"I got here this morning, and they all had their keys in hand and their offices cleaned out," he said.

However, by Monday evening all four said they would wait a couple of weeks before deciding whether to continue working.

"I guess I'll just take a couple weeks off," Matyskiel said. "What else am I going to do?"

Before any of them jet off on an extravagant vacation, some shut-eye is in order.

"Since Saturday, I could only sleep for a couple of hours," Asani said.

Also Monday, Matyskiel and Nick Gashi bought new vehicles from the dealership — a Buick LaCrosse by Matyskiel and a GMC Denali by Gashi.

The four men had never pooled their money to buy lottery tickets, but Asani, Nick Gashi and Matyskiel decided last week to do so for Saturday's big prize.

They offered other Haggerty employees a chance to join the pool, with each person having to buy $50 in tickets. The only taker was Gashi's brother.

"Who knows if we'd have won with extra people," Asani said. "I feel bad for them, but then more people would mean less money for me."

The ticket was purchased from Oak Lawn Discount Tobacco, 9241 Cicero Ave., on Saturday, said the manager of the store, who identified himself only as Rod. The four winners returned Monday about 8 a.m., he said.

"They were elated, just jumping for joy," he said.

Meanwhile, there were some sullen faces at the Haggerty dealership Monday. While most employees seemed happy for their co-workers, they also couldn't help thinking about what might have been. A few salesmen joked about people being on "suicide watch."

One salesman had $20 when the offer was presented and had to ask for the other $30 from his girlfriend, Haggerty said. She wouldn't give him the money, he said.

Others, such as salesman Patrick Cunningham, just thought the $50 entry fee was too steep. He bought $5 worth of Lotto tickets at the same store, about 15 minutes after the winners.

"Yeah, I lost a little sleep over this," Cunningham said.

Haggerty salesman Sam Shalabi said he didn't enter because he doesn't gamble. Even after seeing his co-workers win, he doesn't plan on becoming a lottery regular.

"It happens once in a lifetime," he said. "It's not going to help to start buying tickets now."

Chicago Daily Southtown

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56 comments. Last comment 11 years ago by RJOh.
Page 1 of 4

United States
Member #379
June 5, 2002
11296 Posts
Offline
Posted: August 9, 2005, 1:14 pm - IP Logged

How can you run a lottery pool if everybody has to buy $50 in tickets?

    Avatar
    Greenwich, CT
    United States
    Member #4793
    May 24, 2004
    1822 Posts
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    Posted: August 9, 2005, 1:16 pm - IP Logged

    Thud


      United States
      Member #16612
      June 2, 2005
      3493 Posts
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      Posted: August 9, 2005, 1:25 pm - IP Logged

      I'm disappointed that a man decided not to buy lotto tickets and let other people win. I guess Dan has to keep working while some of his co-workers possibly not work anymore.

        Jake649's avatar - scene sunovermountains.jpg

        Canada
        Member #2673
        November 2, 2003
        497 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: August 9, 2005, 1:26 pm - IP Logged

        How can you run a lottery pool if everybody has to buy $50 in tickets?

        I find it hard to believe that is a serious question. It is so simple, I do not want to waste time explaining.

        On a more positive note and as a strong believer in lottery pools, it is good to see pools winning. It appears to me that is the most common characteristics amoung all winners is the use of pools to win.

        As lotteries move to bigger odds and bigger jackpots, lottery pools become more of a viable option.

        Anybody interested in the $500 million Mega Millions pool I posted about before?

        Good luck,
        Jake

          Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
          Chief Bottle Washer
          New Jersey
          United States
          Member #1
          May 31, 2000
          23277 Posts
          Online
          Posted: August 9, 2005, 1:26 pm - IP Logged

          How can you run a lottery pool if everybody has to buy $50 in tickets?

          It seemed to work pretty well for these four newly-made millionaires.

          What's the most amount of money you ever spent at one time on lottery tickets?

           

          Check the State Lottery Report Card
          What grade did your lottery earn?

           

          Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
          Help eliminate computerized drawings!

            Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
            Chief Bottle Washer
            New Jersey
            United States
            Member #1
            May 31, 2000
            23277 Posts
            Online
            Posted: August 9, 2005, 1:27 pm - IP Logged

            I'm disappointed that a man decided not to buy lotto tickets and let other people win. I guess Dan has to keep working while some of his co-workers possibly not work anymore.

            You think?

             

            Check the State Lottery Report Card
            What grade did your lottery earn?

             

            Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
            Help eliminate computerized drawings!

              Avatar
              Portland
              United States
              Member #7262
              September 27, 2004
              111 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: August 9, 2005, 2:28 pm - IP Logged

              Sad news !!! Disapprove So sorry to hear that ....

              But ... $50/person for one pool is too much !!!

              let's it be

                RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
                mid-Ohio
                United States
                Member #9
                March 24, 2001
                19831 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: August 9, 2005, 2:55 pm - IP Logged

                How can you run a lottery pool if everybody has to buy $50 in tickets?

                It's a good way to find out who can afford to play and who should keep their money for better things.  Those folks that didn't play aren't as sorry as they would have been had they spent $50 and lost.  Playing the lottery is gambling and people shouldn't gamble more than they can afford to lose.

                RJOh

                 * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
                   
                             Evil Looking       


                  United States
                  Member #3676
                  February 10, 2004
                  425 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: August 9, 2005, 3:01 pm - IP Logged

                  The more you play the more your chances of winning, bottom line. Those that couldnt afford to pony up the money or were too cheap dont deserve anything.  I hope there are no "iscriminatory lawsuits" that pop up at this joint.  I myself had 40 bucks on this draw, I would have joined that pool in a heartbeat.

                    wizeguy's avatar - animaniacs04

                    United States
                    Member #15143
                    May 10, 2005
                    414 Posts
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                    Posted: August 9, 2005, 3:09 pm - IP Logged

                    At their ages $1.6 mill is not serious retirement money unless the live fairly modest lives and make good investments. It's possible but I expect all will eventually have to return to the work pool. Congrats to the winners!

                     

                     

                      Elizabeth03's avatar - cat anm.gif
                      Nova Scotia
                      Canada
                      Member #9934
                      December 27, 2004
                      885 Posts
                      Offline
                      Posted: August 9, 2005, 3:19 pm - IP Logged

                      I think there are alot of smart lottery players here . I've noticed that reading people's posts and the predictions they make.See Ya!

                        Avatar
                        illinois
                        United States
                        Member #3538
                        January 29, 2004
                        25 Posts
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                        Posted: August 9, 2005, 3:20 pm - IP Logged

                        i had a lottery pool going for that draw only collected $ 2. each person had 50 people in and are group only won $ 9 dollars total.Thud

                          lottolady24's avatar - scene sunovermountains.jpg
                          New Member
                          West Palm Beach, Florida
                          United States
                          Member #14811
                          May 3, 2005
                          17 Posts
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                          Posted: August 9, 2005, 4:31 pm - IP Logged

                          I was a part of a winning lottery pool about 5 years ago.  We hit 5 of six numbers with the sixth number 1 digit off.  Just so happened there was more than 4000 people that hit 5 that same week.  Split between 17 employees, we ended up with a meager $82 each!  Still moe than the $5 bet but a bit of a heartbreak to be so close!

                          No Pity!

                            BabyJC's avatar - Lottery-031.jpg

                            United States
                            Member #3271
                            January 7, 2004
                            148 Posts
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                            Posted: August 9, 2005, 6:19 pm - IP Logged

                            I bet the salesman whose girlfriend refused to lend him the $30 he needed to join the pool is going to break up with her now. LOL  It is surprising that they kicked in $50 each for only a $16 million (annuity) jackpot, but someone must have felt lucky!