Today 26 lucky co-workers from Amco Precision Tool Inc. of Berlin excitedly gathered outside their Farmington Avenue address to celebrate and receive their share of the $1,000,000 Powerball prize the group won on May 6.
"We've been playing together every Wednesday for nearly five years," said Michael Sokoloski of New Britain, the group's spokesperson and the one in charge of collecting the money and buying the tickets. "Everybody had the numbers, but nobody checked the winning numbers for two weeks. When I finally scanned our tickets in the ticket checker and saw 'CONGRATULATIONS $1,000,000 WINNER,' I took my glasses off and rubbed my eyes. I thought I was seeing things. I had the clerk check the ticket in the lottery terminal. When he confirmed it was a $1,000,000 winner, I couldn't believe it!"
After calling the Lottery's claim department to verify their actual winnings, Sokoloski took his time to prepare a special letter for the members of the Powerball pool. Then, with the details of their prize win in place, Sokoloski handed out the letters just before their morning work break to share the news. "People went nuts for an hour, hour and a half. Everybody was hooting and hollering," Sokoloski said.
As each winner stepped forward to accept their $38,461 share of the prize (before taxes), they spoke of their plans to use their prize money to pay bills, go on vacations, pay for their children's college education, or to buy or pay off a car. "Two people are buying houses and using the money to put towards a down payment. Me, I'm going to get new windows and siding for my house," Sokoloski said.
When asked if the group still planned to continue playing Powerball the same as always, Sokoloski quickly responded. "Absolutely. We're ready to win again!"
The group's $1,000,000 prize winning Powerball "Quick Pick" ticket was purchased at C&C Package Store at 1207 Farmington Avenue in Berlin. A lottery retailer since 1992, C&C Package Store owner, Dave Louro, will receive a $2,500 check from the CT Lottery for selling the winning ticket. "When I saw a copy of the ticket, I was just in awe of it and very happy. It feels great to have someone from my store win such a big prize," Louro said.
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