22 North Carolina co-workers win $1 million in Mega Millions; woman didn’t know she was in office pool

Money (Stock)

MONROE, N.C. — A North Carolina office pool aimed to win the $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot, but they’ll just have to settle for $1 million.

At the last minute, 22 people formed an office pool in hopes of winning the second largest lottery jackpot in United States history.

“We didn’t even realize how much the tickets were,” Katherine Lindsey McIntyre said in a news release. “We just had everyone who wanted to participate chip in $1.”

The group bought 11 Quick Pick tickets from the Zoom Express on Skyway Drive in Monroe. They did not opt for the $1 Megaplier which would have tripled their winnings.

After the numbers came in, DeCora Bowers started scanning the codes on the lottery tickets to see if any of them were winners.

“I was looking at the numbers and flipping through the tickets,” she said. “When I got to the last one I couldn’t believe it.”

Bowers first phoned up Mary McNeely.

“I started screaming when she told me,” McNeely said. “I woke everyone up in my family because I was so loud.”

One by one, they spread the word through the office pool. Anyone who didn’t answer ended up learning the good news at work the next morning.

The greatest shock came for one woman who didn’t even realize she was in the pool.

“I heard everybody screaming and hollering,” Marilyn Vaughn said. “Another coworker asked me if I was in the pool, and I said, ‘What pool?’ Apparently someone had paid a $1 for me. I couldn’t believe it, I was in shock!”

Possibly the last person in the 22-person pool to find out was Pamela Dennis who had stayed home sick.

“I was dressed in my pajamas and bathrobe and resting when I got a knock on the door,” Dennis said. “I opened it and Marilyn was there saying, ‘We won! We won! We won!’ I couldn’t wrap my head around it, I was stunned.”

That afternoon, the group made their way to the Raleigh lottery headquarters.

After taxes and splitting their cash prize 22 ways, each co-worker walked away with $32,000.

The winners have a variety of plans, from paying off student loans to investing to planning a trip to the last Blockbuster still standing in Oregon.

Barbara Medlin, however, plans to use the cash to grow her family.

“My husband and I have had a lot of fertility issues,” Medlin said. “We’ve been trying to save enough money to adopt. We were $7,000 short, so that will take care of it for us. It’s a huge relief.”

The winning ticket matched five of the white bills, earning the $1 million prize. If they had chosen the right Mega Ball, they could have won the jackpot.

Here are the winners from the 22-person office pool:

  • Sonia Buitron, Waxhaw
  • William Henry, Monroe
  • Asocialyn Murphy, Charlotte
  • Sharon Corpening, Salisbury
  • Tammy Goodson, Monroe
  • Katherine Lindsey McIntyre, Charlotte
  • Karina Andersen Clark, Charlotte
  • Lamont Reaves, Matthews
  • Paula Gray, Wingate
  • Yolanda Mino, Matthews
  • Barbara Medlin, Marshville
  • Teshia Cruz, Monroe
  • Tamara Blount, Monroe
  • Amber Williams, Monroe
  • Charles Thompson, Waxhaw
  • Mary McNeely, Monroe
  • Robin Vanderburg, Monroe
  • Jondrea Page, Harrisburg
  • DeCora Bowers, Walkerton
  • Pamela Dennis, Monroe
  • Angie Chambliss, Harrisburg
  • Marilyn Vaughn, Monroe