The New Jersey Lottery games create thousands of winners every day. Some days the winnings are a bit larger than other days. That was the case when lightning struck New Jersey twice in one night as it sold two jackpot winning tickets for the Wednesday, August 7 Powerball drawing. Minnesota sold a third jackpot winning ticket. This is the first time in 20 years that two winning jackpot tickets were sold in the same state. The last time that happened was on December 22, 1993 and they were sold in the District of Columbia.
The Powerball jackpot for the August 7 draw was $448 million and was split between the three winning tickets. The New Jersey tickets were sold at Super Stop n Shop, 24 Summerfield Blvd. & Rt. 522, South Brunswick in Middlesex County and has yet to be claimed. The other ticket was sold at Acme Markets #7858, 425 Route 9 South, Little Egg Harbor, Ocean County. The owners of the Little Egg Harbor ticket are the 16-member group called Ocean's 16.
The Ocean's 16 group came to Lottery Headquarters in a chartered bus on Monday morning, August 12. The group leader, Brian McCarthy, presented the ticket for validation and filed an official claim as the group watched and waited for the official declaration in the Lottery Commission Room. The Lottery declared the ticket valid and payable at which time the group jumped to their feet, cheered, clapped and hugged one another in joy.
Carole Hedinger, New Jersey Lottery Executive Director, was present to greet the winners, all of whom are Ocean County employees. Ocean County is a special place for Hedinger as she was the Chief Clerk of the Ocean County Surrogate Court from 2004 – 2010. "I know that these folks are hard-working, reliable employees who have served the public well for many years. In their positions in the Department of Vehicle Services they handle maintenance operations that support all County departments by keeping their vehicles and equipment functioning in a safe a proper manner."
Director James R. Pine leads the Ocean County Department of Vehicle Services. He is not a member of the Ocean's 16 group but was present at Headquarters to support his team. The staff endear Pine and some of the women lovingly call him "Daddy" for his guidance and wisdom. When asked how he felt about the group win and his not being a part of it, Pine smiled softly and said, "I am happy. It's pretty special to have my staff be all set." He too will be retiring in a few years after a life well planned and is pleased that his staff will be on solid financial footing after so many of them faced adversity from the wrath of Superstorm Sandy. "To go from Sandy to this is quite special," he continued. When asked whether he will be posting job openings soon Pine said, "None of them will leave me hanging. They came in this morning and did their jobs until we were all set to go." In fact, many of the winners stated that they would remain at their jobs for the near future and perhaps beyond.
The group is comprised of the following members:
1. Ralston K. Chalfant Jr.
2. Peter R. Cherkos
3. Joseph D'Angelo
4. June M. Delgado
5. Robert H. Heinen
6. Dorothy A. Kulina
7. Tabitha A. Long
8. Brian W. McCarthy
9. Susan M. Nickel
10. Joseph R. Odoardo
11. Lisa K. Presutto
12. Darlene M. Riccio
13. Barbara Jo Riivald
14. Eleine Sanchez
15. William L. Seeley
16. Donna Cinque-Stasse
Each member of the Ocean's 16 group will receive an equal share of the winnings. The annuity jackpot for the August 7 drawing was $448 million with a cash value of $258 million. Split between three winners, each New Jersey ticket is worth $ 86,054,355 before taxes. The Federal Taxes at 25 percent will be: $21,513,589, the NJ State taxes at 3 percent will be $2,581,631. The net prize amount will be $61,959,135. Each winner will receive a check for $3,872,445.94.
The group can be additionally grateful to the father of one of its own members, Barbara Jo Riivald. Riivald is the daughter of the late New Jersey State Senator John F. Brown. Brown was known as "the father of the New Jersey Lottery" and was an early proponent of casino gambling in Atlantic City.