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New Jersey Woman Takes Home $200,000 More Than Friends in Group Lump Sum Lottery Payout

dollar paper money in bag over concretePooling money together among friends, coworkers, and/or family members is a popular strategy when talking about lottery tickets, especially big multi-million dollar jackpots like the Mega Millions or Powerball. The point is to increase the odds of hitting it big while not spending an excessive amount of money on one’s own. Everyone risks the same amount of money on a daily, weekly, monthly, or whatever the frequency may be, with the understanding that the winnings will be split up evenly.

One recent case in the New York City-area is another example of these somewhat common group wins, but with one unique twist. According to the New York Post, five long-time friends from Yonkers and New Jersey won a $106 million Mega Millions jackpot, but one of the group winners will actually receive about $200,000 more than the others of the lump sum lottery payout.

That’s because Angela Pajes, a daycare teacher from Basking Ridge, NJ, is the only one in the group of cohorts who doesn’t live in Yonkers, which is subject to more local and state taxes.

They elected to take the $106 million jackpot in a lump sum lottery payout. Mega Millions can also be paid out in annuity, which entails one immediate payment followed by 29 annual payments that increase by about 5% each year. Their win breaks down to about $13.1 million in individual lump sums before taxes. Pajes will receive $8.67 million while her friends will have to settle for $8.47 million thanks to their home addresses.

The other four winners are limo driver Manuel Hernandez, 45; his wife Acela, 51, who works as a housekeeper; Miguel Acosta, a business owner; and the man who actually bought the winning ticket, Edgar Lopez. Lopez is also a limo driver, but chances are he’ll be the one riding in the back from now on.

Lopez bought the ticket at Yonkers Grocery and Convenience. The winners have all known each other for about 15 years through family and friends and have played the lottery in group-style fashion once a week for at least 10 years. When he discovered he had bought the winning jackpot ticket, Lopez was very happy.

“Thank God,” was about all he could manage to convey.