By Todd Northrop
A 10-year tradition of family Friday-night pizza continues long after the children have grown up and gone on with their own lives. The parents remain loyal to the tradition and to the friendship that the four couples have cultivated through the years.
The group still meets and pools their money to buy weekly Powerball and Mega Millions tickets just as they've regularly done.
Now, those relationships have been bonded even stronger by good fortune and a $40,000,000 Powerball jackpot win.
Carole Hedinger, New Jersey Lottery Executive Director, had the opportunity to meet the winners and discuss their lives — past, present and future.
"The best part of my job is meeting the winners and learning about them and their families," said Hedinger. "What strikes me is just how typical the winners are. Most are just hard-working, average people who want to enjoy life with their family and friends. Winning the lottery just makes the simple pleasures in life that much easier to enjoy."
The Rocklin Four members, named for the retailer at which the winning ticket was purchased, are:
- Daniel Blackley Jr.,
- Scott Goldberg,
- Robert Kerr, and,
- Thomas Reagan.
All of the winners reside in Dumont, N.J., which is in Bergen County.
When asked how this win will change their lives, they all agreed that most things will not change including their Friday night pizza gathering. None of them have plans to leave the neighborhood or do anything else much differently. The Rocklin Four collectively stated, "It's a great chance to have more fun and take care of our families."
The winning numbers for the March 25 drawing were selected by the group members and represented key dates for each family in one manner or another. Number #23 was selected for Don Mattingly, a former New York Yankee. The winning numbers for the Wednesday, March 25 drawing were: 7, 19, 23, 50, and 54, with Powerball number 14. The Power Play multiplier was 2.
The lucky Lottery retailer is Rocklins Stationers, 458 Cedar Lane, Teaneck in Bergen County. For selling this winning ticket, the retailer will receive a bonus commission of $30,000.
It was the sole winning ticket sold for the $40 million jackpot.
The cash value of the ticket is $26.8 million. Federal tax of 25 percent and state tax of 3 percent were withheld. The net prize amount after taxes is $19,328,858. The four group members shared the prize equally.
This jackpot win is on the heels of a jackpot win from the prior draw so the group hit on the first night of a new game roll. Still, New Jersey had many winners from the draw. There were 14,523 fixed-prize New Jersey winners from the draw, eligible to claim a total of $86,566. Retailers earned commissions totaling $48,827. The state, on behalf of the Lottery beneficiaries, will receive an estimated $400,377 from the one draw.
"This is an amazing win for New Jersey, the lucky ticket holders and the retailers!" exclaimed Hedinger. "The revenue generated from this draw and all of the New Jersey Lottery games, support vital programs and institutions that serve New Jersey residents across the state."
Powerball drawings are held each Wednesday and Saturday evening at 10:57 pm.
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