A secretary and six laboratory workers at Kaiser Permanente in California held the winning ticket for the $315 million Mega Millions jackpot — but they still came in to work, a company spokeswoman said.
The jackpot was the second-richest prize won with a single ticket in the history of lotteries in the United States.
The winners, who had chipped in $3 apiece and bought 21 tickets, came into work Wednesday at the medical center in Garden Grove anyway, said Kaiser spokeswoman Barbara Shipnuck.
"They bought the entire staff lunch to celebrate," Shipnuck said. "For now, they all prefer to stay anonymous."
Reporters and aspiring millionaires first swarmed a mom-and-pop gift shop early Wednesday where the winning ticket was sold, then shifted to the medical center when news of the seven new millionaires spread.
"People had stopped playing because nobody was winning," said a secretary at Kaiser who declined to identify herself. "Now they have."
It was the second-richest prize won with a single ticket in the history of lotteries in the United States. The numbers drawn Tuesday night were: 2-4-5-40-48 and mega number 7.
The ticket was bought at Rainbow Water, Juice, Flower & Gift. At the tiny sundries shop not far from Disneyland, Raquel Cordova was busy fielding interviews and selling more lottery tickets.
The store owners will receive $1 million for selling the winning ticket.
A couple of years ago, owners Guadalupe and Jose Cordova were considering selling the store but changed their minds, their daughter said.
"My mom's like 'no, no, someday I'll hit it big and I'll be able to retire," said Raquel, 20.
Her mother was shaking after receiving the telephone call notifying her of the win, her daughter said. Guadalupe, 52, and Jose, 53, decided to take the day off and let their kids work, Raquel said.
Both Guadalupe and Jose immigrated to the United States from Mexico as teenagers, Raquel said.
"Mom's gonna take a long vacation ... she's here seven days a week, even on Sundays," Raquel said.
As for her father, "he's too excited. He can't work," she said.
Her sister, 18-year-old Mayra, also works at the store after school and her brother, Jose Jr., 29, used to run the counter when he was younger, Raquel said.
Her parents are considering taking a vacation in Las Vegas but Raquel said she is holding out for Brazil.
Last month in Oregon, a family claimed the largest jackpot in U.S. lottery history won by a single ticket, $340 million. The numbers were drawn Oct. 19 in the other big multistate lottery, Powerball. Until then, the richest undivided lottery jackpot in U.S. history was the $314.9 million Powerball jackpot won by a West Virginia man on Christmas Day 2002.
On May 9, 2000, the jackpot for the Big Game — the forerunner of Mega Millions — grew to $363 million. But that record amount wound up being split between two winning tickets.
In addition to California, Mega Millions is played in Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.