A group of 11 employees and customers of a country store on the shores of Lake Erie, Ohio, have won a pretax total of $250,000 playing Mega Millions.
Six customers and five employees of Mutach's Food Market at 505 West Main St. at the tip of the Marblehead peninsula together chipped in to purchase 55 "plays" in the Mega Millions drawing Tuesday.
John Klaehn, owner of the small grocery and butcher shop, didn't join in on the winning purchase made that morning at his store.
"I should have, I wish I would've now," he said.
But Mr. Klaehn's family didn't come up empty: His parents, William and Becky, who once ran the store but are now retired, were among the participating winners.
The store, located in a small community whose population drops to less than 500 in the winter months, has been selling tickets for 30 years, and isn't accustomed to too much hubbub when it comes to winnings.
"Never had a big one," Mr. Klaehn said.
This time, however, the group did: The six numbers they picked, between one and 56, were right on the money - a one in 3,904,701 chance. But they missed the drawing's extra "mega ball" pick, an additional one-in-46 shot which would have secured the group a $200 million jackpot.
Still, their $250,000 in total winnings, after 28.5 percent in taxes, worked out to $178,750, or $16,250 for each of the 11 winners.
"I couldn't believe it at first. It didn't hit me until the next day," said Justin Monak, 20, an employee of Mutach's. "It'll go to college [expenses], and a little poker," he said.
Mr. Klaehn said he's happy for his employees and customers, whom he knows by name - but also noted that none of his workers has quit to live off his or her winnings.
"They didn't win enough to do that," he said.
Besides Mr. Monak and the Klaehns, other winners include William Covey, Allen Dress, Ashley Eckel, Amy Hanna, Karen Oglesbee, Paulette Petrick, and Justin Riedy, all of Marblehead; and Donald Yontz, of Sandusky.