Members of a lotto pool arrived at the California Lottery’s Santa Fe Springs District Office to claim the prize they won on a Powerball ticket sold in Orange County. This ticket matched five of the six numbers in the draw on May 13 to win $796,289! They’re all co-workers at a brewing company. You see six members of the pool, but there are two more who got camera shy. So, there’s a total of eight people who will split this prize, and boy are they thrilled!
Rodolfo “Rudy” Mayoral was the organizer of the group. “Everyone put in five dollars,” Mayoral said. “I got four tickets with five [plays] on each.” He was meticulous about it. He said he stopped at several places to purchase the tickets. He then made a copy, which everyone initialed. The night of the draw, he was getting off work and checked the numbers. He couldn’t wait to share the good news. “I had to tell everybody,” Mayoral said, not expecting a hiccup in the celebration. “It was about ten o’clock at night. And nobody would answer their phone!”
Rene Burruel explained why he didn’t pick up. “I didn’t recognize the area code.” Another guy jokingly offered this about the phone calls: “My phone was on my nightstand,” Benjamin Sanchez said. “I thought, ‘It’s work calling…I’m not going to answer.’”
Mark Salas had been asleep for hours and missed the call. All sorts of thoughts ran through his head as he fumbled around to phone Mayoral back. “Why is my lotto guy calling me? My heart was pounding!” Salas said. “All I heard was seven hundred and something thousand. I was excited. Everyone in the house knew within minutes.”
By now, each member’s phone was blowing up as the co-workers called each other, even texting a photo of the winning ticket as proof to the disbelievers. The winning ticket was purchased at Granada Liquor, which is located at 5501 Orangethorpe Avenue in La Palma (Orange County). It successfully matched the numbers 68-17-20-63-32, missing only the red Powerball number 19. Had they matched that number they would have won the (revised) estimated $185.1 million jackpot. Still, the amount they’ll share is enough to keep everyone happy. “We figured, God has realized we’ve all been suffering long enough,” joked player Sam Martin.
Here’s the entire list of the group:
Rene Burruel, Jr.
Some players weren’t sure what they’d do with their share of the winnings, but others talked of paying bills, taking vacations, purchasing a new TV and even buying more Lottery tickets! Amid the commotion, we heard someone say: “You can’t win if you don’t play.”