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.
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