A group of co-workers from Ocean County, N.J., are apparently the holders of one of three winning Powerball tickets splitting a $448 million jackpot.
The 16 employees of the Ocean County Vehicle Maintenance Department in Toms River, N.J., took part in a pool for the ticket bought at the Acme supermarket in Little Egg Harbor, Freeholder Director John Kelly told the Asbury Park Press.
"We are thrilled," Kelly told the news organization. "It's good to see these hard-working, blue-collar employees win this money that's really going to be a life-changer for them."
Jim Pine, director of the department where the employees work, told the Press of Atlantic City, "I couldn't be more happy for them. They're a group of wonderful, hardworking people, and showing up for work today ought to tell you something."
No one would reveal the identities of the winners, but Pine said, "They're right now trying to work through this."
The word came after rumors circulated throughout the day Thursday in Little Egg Harbor about potential winners from that area.
Jorge Dinis, assistant manager of the Acme market, said the store fielded many questions from the media Thursday.
Locals said they hoped the winner was someone adversely affected by Superstorm Sandy in 2012, the Press of Atlantic City reported.
The winning ticket was one of three. Another was sold at a Super Stop & Shop in South Brunswick, N.J., and a third bought in Anoka County, Minn., Judith Drucker, New Jersey Lottery spokeswoman, told the Asbury Park Press. Paul White of Minnesota stepped forward to claim the Anoka County winnings.
Melanie Eversley, USA TODAY