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

Aug 13, 2013, 7:18 pm (55 comments)


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.

Lottery Post Staff



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

mypiemaster's avatarmypiemaster

Congrats people, enjoy your good fortune.

Win$500Quick's avatarWin$500Quick

Congrats to the 16 new millionaires.


Quote: Originally posted by Win$500Quick on Aug 13, 2013

Congrats to the 16 new millionaires.

Good on ya!!

Arrowhead's avatarArrowhead

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 avatarHaveABall

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


rdgrnr's avatarrdgrnr

Nice group of people, I wish them all the best.


Best wishes and enjoy spending the money.

dallascowboyfan's avatardallascowboyfan

Congratulation Ocean 16 Thumbs Up

maringoman's avatarmaringoman

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

psykomo's avatarpsykomo

  PartyCONGRAT's "OCEAN 16" Party

                                                      "ToDay's the Day"

              PartyBUOY's and Gull's Party


KY Floyd's avatarKY Floyd

"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 avatargolfer1960

I love the men who showed up in disguises.

Good stories, very emotional.


celebrate       we did it

psykomo's avatarpsykomo

Quote: Originally posted by golfer1960 on Aug 13, 2013

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'$$


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