By Wayne Parry
TOMS RIVER, N.J.: Sixteen workers from a county garage in a New Jersey shore community hit hard by Superstorm Sandy have one of the three winning tickets in the $448 million Powerball jackpot, and some even came to work for a second straight day after learning they would be multimillionaires, county officials said.
“We are absolutely delighted for this group, a real down-to-earth hardworking bunch of people,” Ocean County spokeswoman Donna Flynn said Friday outside the county vehicle maintenance department.
A Minnesota man has already claimed his third of Wednesday’s jackpot.
The holder of the third winning ticket, also from New Jersey, has not come forward yet.
Each ticket, if taken as a lump-sum payment, is worth $58 million after taxes.
All 16 county workers showed up to work Thursday, and some were also back on the job Friday, Flynn said.
“They’re asking for their privacy now,” she said.
New Jersey Lottery officials did not return calls or messages Friday on whether they had verified the ticket.
Flynn said the lottery agency was planning to hold a news conference next week.
“This is a wonderful thing to happen to Ocean County after all the difficulties we’ve gone through with Superstorm Sandy,” she said.
Ocean County received some of the heaviest damage from Sandy last October and is still recovering from the storm.
Sandy made landfall just miles from the supermarket, in Little Egg Harbor, where the winning ticket was sold.
Flynn said she did not know if any of the winners, both men and women, had suffered property damage in the storm.
The other winning ticket in New Jersey was purchased at a supermarket in South Brunswick, in central New Jersey.
In Minnesota, Paul White wasted no time before revealing his good fortune to the world Thursday. He said he had “been waiting for this day my entire life.”
White, 45, a project engineer and divorced father of two from Ham Lake, said his family often gave him a hard time for frequently playing the lottery, and he had a tough time convincing many of them that he had finally won.
White said he’ll take the lump sum payout.
He said he would be quitting his job with a Minneapolis electrical contractor after helping finish some projects.