TOMS RIVER - They had been lying low since discovering they held a winning Powerball ticket, but now the group dubbed the "Ocean's 16" is talking about its lottery windfall.
A group of 16 public employees from Ocean County that had one of three winning tickets in last week's $448 million Powerball jackpot gathered for a news conference Tuesday afternoon in Toms River.
The event comes one day after the nine women and seven men claimed their share of the jackpot. The check was for more than $86 million, the lump-sum value of their ticket.
The group works in Toms River for the Vehicle Services Department. Several Sandy victims are among the group, and they say coming from such a low point in their lives to a great high is nothing short of a miracle.
Darlene Riccio, of Brick, says she'll put her share to good use after losing everything in the superstorm. "The first thing I'm going to do is buy me and my daughter a home and bring my dog back," she told the crowd.
Willy Seeley had a tree land on his home in Ocean County during Sandy. Now he has enough cash to rebuild and says he'll quit his job. "I'm just going to continue watching Nascar racing on Sunday but at my log cabin on multi acres of land," Seeley says.
The win takes on special meaning for Barbara Jo Riivald. Her late father, state Sen. John Brown, was an early proponent of casino gambling and lotteries. "I wish he was here to share the moment," she says.
Lottery officials say each worker will get about $3.8 million after taxes.
The winning ticket was sold at an Acme Markets store in Little Egg Harbor Township. That's just miles from where the center of Superstorm Sandy made landfall in October.
The second of the three winning tickets was sold in South Brunswick. That winner has yet to come forward.
For the entire news conference, watch the clip to the left or click News 12 Extra on Optimum TV channel 612.