Another group of NC co-workers - in Wake County - wins $1 million Mega Millions prize

The SC Lottery has a message to the Mega Millions winner

The South Carolina Education Lottery announces winner in $1.5 billion Mega Millions contest Wednesday Oct. 24, 2018, in Simpsonville, SC.
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The South Carolina Education Lottery announces winner in $1.5 billion Mega Millions contest Wednesday Oct. 24, 2018, in Simpsonville, SC.

Another group of NC co-workers — this time in Wake County — has won a $1 million Mega Millions lottery prize, the NC Education Lottery said in a news release.

The 14 co-workers contributed $20 each after Roseanne Smith saw the $1.5 billion jackpot for Tuesday’s drawing and started an office pool, according to Friday’s news release.

That was enough money to buy 140 Quick Pick tickets at the Circle K on Harrison Avenue in Cary, lottery officials said.

Erica Hayes of Cary discovered they’d won after turning on the TV the next morning, according to the news release. The ticket matched the five white balls to win $1 million, beating odds of one in about 12.6 million, officials said.

After state and federal taxes, the Wake County winners each took home over $50,000, lottery officials said in the news release.

“They said the winning ticket was sold in South Carolina, but they also said two tickets in North Carolina won $1 million,” Hayes told lottery officials after the group claimed their prize at state lottery headquarters in Raleigh Friday afternoon.

After seeing she’d won, Hayes texted the group’s supervisor, Francis Bassett of Zebulon, who also was part of the pool, the news release said. Bassett confirmed the numbers and immediately arranged a meeting to tell the others.

“At first, I thought we were in trouble,” co-worker John Gulas of Cary told lottery officials, according to the news release. “I expected him to say something about corporate not wanting us to play on company time.”

Lottery officials did not name the workers’ company in the news release. The lottery will not disclose the company where lottery winners work if they so request, a lottery spokeswoman told The Charlotte Observer this week.

The other NC group of co-workers to win $1 million - in Union County — also asked the lottery not to publicize where they’re employed.

Some of the Wake County winners will pay off mortgages and student loans, others will travel, according to the news release.

Hayes told lottery officials she plans to take her daughter on her first vacation. “I’m a single mother,” Hayes said. “My daughter is 11. We’ve never been able to go on a trip together, so I’m going to take her to Disney World and Harry Potter world.”

Patrick Bloomer of Wake Forest said he’ll buy front row seats to Wrestle Mania. “It was either that or try to get Metallica to come play in my backyard,” Bloomer told lottery officials. “I figured Wrestle Mania was more likely.”

The lottery news release said the other co-workers are John Parker of Clayton, David Pitts of Raleigh, Ryan Mowatt of Raleigh, David Peters of Fuquay Varina, Roseanne Smith of Fuquay Varina, David Mosley of Apex, Walter Overman of Raleigh, Richard Degenhardt of Cary, Derek Proffit of Raleigh and Ted Hart of Cary.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067; @jmarusak
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