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Meet the "Ocean's 16" N.J. Powerball Winners

Aug 13, 2013, 7:18 pm

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One winner is daughter of Senator who wrote the N.J. Lottery law

Includes video report

Among the 16 co-workers who came forward today to claim their piece of a $448 million Powerball jackpot were a woman who lost her home in Superstorm Sandy and the daughter of the man who is credited as the "father of the New Jersey lottery."

The group of Ocean County Vehicle Services Department employees, dubbed the "Ocean's 16," cheered for each other as they were introduced for the first time today in public as the group that held one of the three lucky tickets from last week's drawing.

Darlene Riccio, one of the winners, said she had been going through an "extremely rough year" after she lost her home in Superstorm Sandy.

"One of the first things I'm going to do is a buy a home," she said. "When I found out we won, I was speechless. I thought they were joking and it was the worst joke ever."

Barbara Jo Riivald, the daughter of late New Jersey state Sen. John F. Brown, who introduced legislation that brought the lottery to New Jersey, said after she found out she had won, she wanted nothing more than to call her late parents.

"My father was bigger than life. He was always my hero," she said. "The only thing I wanted to do that next morning was call him and call my mom, and then I realized I couldn't do that."

The nine women and seven men posed on Monday with a giant $86 million check, the lump-sum value of their ticket. Each worker will get about $3.8 million after taxes, according to lottery officials.

Lisa Presutto, the woman who collected $6 from each group member and purchased the winning tickets, said she took on the duty because she had to stop at an Acme store on the way home to pick up a prescription and dinner.

While drinking her morning coffee last week, she discovered the winning Powerball was 32, a number she knew the group had, and so she decided to check their tickets.

"I immediately started shaking," she said, after she realized they had won.

"I woke my poor husband up," she said.

"He's no longer poor!" someone in the group shouted, garnering laughs from the group of new millionaires.

After her husband checked the tickets and saw the numbers were a match, Presutto said she text messaged her supervisor, who initially told her it was "too early" to be playing a prank.

After she verified the numbers, Presutto's supervisor texted back with a reaction that said it all:

"O-M-G!" she said, according to Presutto.

The winning ticket was sold in Little Egg Harbor Township, just miles from where the center of Superstorm Sandy made landfall in October, causing heavy damage along coastal Ocean County.

Despite the fact that the "close-knit group" now consists of newly-minted millionaires, the 16 employees all showed up for work last week.

While some of the winners said they planned to continue working, Joe Odoardo said he almost retired last year and plans to make it official after collecting his multimillion-dollar payday.

"It's just a miracle and shocking," he said. "After 34 years and almost retiring, this happens? You just don't have another choice!"

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

RAW VIDEO: Watch the press conference

Note: We apologize for the poor audio quality experienced in some of the video. It seems the NJ Lottery camera operator was covering the microphone for some of the press conference, and they did not use an external microphone.


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55 comments. Last comment 9 years ago by jamella724.
Page 1 of 4

United States
Member #106128
February 13, 2011
17 Posts

Good for them. They got to claim the money without having one of their co-workers sue.


    United States
    Member #141028
    April 2, 2013
    1481 Posts

    Congrats people, enjoy your good fortune.

      Win$500Quick's avatar - Rich 20man.jpg
      The No-System System
      United States
      Member #77813
      August 1, 2009
      6999 Posts

      Congrats to the 16 new millionaires.

        United States
        Member #116499
        September 12, 2011
        305 Posts

        Congrats to the 16 new millionaires.

        Good on ya!!

          Arrowhead's avatar - underground
          United States
          Member #120748
          December 27, 2011
          294 Posts

          Good-looking group. Nice chunk of change for each of them. Not enough for multiple mansions or fleet of exotic cars, but, especially for the older ones, a great way to enter the golden years. For all of them, it should be goodbye debt and a hello solid layer of financial comfort. 

            HaveABall's avatar - rocket

            United States
            Member #72446
            March 18, 2009
            1391 Posts

            Congratulations, Ocean's 16, on your tidy PB jackpot win!  May your joy during this press conference linger your entire lifetime.


            Having several millions of dollars in my financial accounts means receiving several valuable services each day!


              rdgrnr's avatar - nw barkeep.jpg
              Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler
              The Hall Of The Mountain Kings Tennessee
              United States
              Member #73902
              April 28, 2009
              15322 Posts

                United States
                Member #116263
                September 7, 2011
                20244 Posts

                Best wishes and enjoy spending the money.

                  dallascowboyfan's avatar - chi
                  United States
                  Member #82389
                  November 12, 2009
                  6371 Posts

                  Congratulation Ocean 16 Thumbs Up

                  I Love Pink & Green 1908

                    maringoman's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcTbRxpKQmOfcCoUqF2FyqIOAwDo7rg9G-lfJLAALPGWJWwiz19eRw
                    United States
                    Member #37432
                    April 14, 2006
                    2747 Posts

                    Cheers Corona Extra with a lime to the Ocean 16! $3.8M is good money just before the taxes shoot to the stratosphere.

                    That money's gone fo ever

                      psykomo's avatar - animal shark.jpg

                      United States
                      Member #4877
                      May 30, 2004
                      5289 Posts

                        PartyCONGRAT's "OCEAN 16" Party

                                                                            "ToDay's the Day"

                                    PartyBUOY's and Gull's Party


                        KY Floyd's avatar - sunflowers avatar.jpg
                        United States
                        Member #23834
                        October 16, 2005
                        4560 Posts

                        "The nine women and seven men posed on Monday with a giant $86 million check, the lump-sum value of their ticket."

                        The big check only showed the cash amount? I can only assume that somebody will be losing their job.

                          golfer1960's avatar - Lottery-003.jpg
                          Eatontown, NJ
                          United States
                          Member #119665
                          November 29, 2011
                          850 Posts

                          I love the men who showed up in disguises.

                          Good stories, very emotional.


                          celebrate       we did it

                            psykomo's avatar - animal shark.jpg

                            United States
                            Member #4877
                            May 30, 2004
                            5289 Posts

                            I love the men who showed up in disguises.

                            Good stories, very emotional.


                            celebrate       we did it


                            UR>>>>>>>>A>>>>>>>WINNER^^^^^^IF U can tell difference in gull's or bouy's in that>>>pitcher^^!!

                            GOOD post>>>>golfer>>WINNER^^^^^^    U can tell difference > PLAY 4D>>>>>>>>>>>>>JACKPOT'$$