(OCEAN COUNTY, N.J.) — A new multi-millionaire who will split a one-third share of the $448.4 million Powerball jackpot with 15 of her co-workers at a municipal garage in Ocean County, N.J., is “still up in the clouds” over her lottery luck.
“I can’t even tell you, I’m just so excited,” said Susan Nichel, one of the 16 employees of the Ocean County Vehicle Maintenance Department in Toms River, N.J., who won big on Wednesday’s Powerball drawing.
Nichel said she couldn’t believe she’d be among those in her office dividing up the jackpot after they matched all five numbers and the Powerball.
“My co-worker Elaine came out and shook me and said, ‘We did win!'” she said.
Despite the fact that they’ll soon be raking in the dough from their multi-state lottery win, the 16 employees all showed up for work this week.
“They knew they won the lottery and they were here. That tells you a lot about who they are,” Nichel’s boss, Jim Pine of the Ocean County Vehicle Services Department said.
“They are outstanding people,” he said.
“Once one knew, they all knew,” he said. “They got the numbers and starting calling each other. Then they came to work [on Thursday] and discussed some options.”
They will divvy up $149.4 million, which would be reduced to $86 million if taken in a lump sum, and reduced further to $58.3 million after taxes if taken in a lump sum.
Nichel is due to collect approximately $3.5 million after taxes if the winnings are split evenly among the group.
So far, Nichel is the only co-worker who has gone public about her earnings, and it is not known when the rest of the group intends to come forward and officially claim their prize.
Still, it hasn’t stopped Nichel from answering the question so many dream of – if you win the lottery, what would you spend the money on?
Nichel said she plans to fix her home damaged by Superstorm Sandy, and sharing the prize winnings with her family. She still plans to go to work at the garage for another year and a half before retiring to collect her pension.
“I want my husband to retire. I’m not, but I want him to. He’s worked a long time,” she said.
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