New Powerball millionaires include superstorm Sandy victims

(CBS News) TOM'S RIVER, N.J. - They call themselves the "Ocean's 16," and the group of Ocean County, N.J., employees is swimming in it - money.

They won a one-third share of the Powerball jackpot, and Tuesday they told their rags-to-riches tale.

In this Aug. 12, 2013 photo provided by the New Jersey Lottery, the 16 unidentified workers from an Ocean County garage in a New Jersey shore community hit hard by Superstorm Sandy pose with a winner's check from the $448 million Powerball drawing, on Aug. 7.
Sam Fromkin,AP Photo/New Jersey Lottery

The co-workers at the Ocean County Maintenance garage have been playing the lottery together for years. On Wednesday, they gave Lisa Persutto $6 apiece to buy 48 tickets. She looked up the winning number the next morning.

"I immediately started shaking and I am just staring at it and I didn't know what to do," Persutto said. "So I got up, I walked down the hall. I opened up the bedroom door and I had to wake my poor husband up. Who was no longer poor."

Watch: "Ocean's 16" Powerball winners speak

Each worker's share comes to about $3.8 million after taxes.

Willie Seeley
Willie Seeley
AP Photo/Mel Evans

Willie Seeley, one of the employees in the group, said he couldn't be happier.

"We are a happy bunch of group, we are very happy, happy, happy," he said. "I'm just going to continue watching NASCAR on Sundays. Maybe I'll be at my log cabin on multiple acres of land."

All expect to keep their jobs, except Jospeh Dangelo. He was planning to retire last year.

"It's just a miracle and shocking. And after 34 years and almost retiring last year, this happens and you just don't have no choice (but to retire)," he said.

The odds of winning Powerball is over one in 170 million. But what about the odds of winning a lottery created by your father? That's what happened to Barbara Jo Riivald. Her late father was the state senator who wrote the law that created New Jersey's lottery.

"I couldn't ask for a better dad. And I wish he was here to share in the moment," she said.

Lottery winners Lisa K. Presutto, left, Darlene M. Riccio, second left and Barbara Jo Riivald, third right, share a laugh as they listen to Lottery Director Carole Hedinger, right, executive director of the New Jersey lottery Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013, in Toms River, N.J.
Lottery winners Lisa K. Presutto, left, Darlene M. Riccio, second left and Barbara Jo Riivald, third right, share a laugh as they listen to Lottery Director Carole Hedinger, right, executive director of the New Jersey lottery Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013, in Toms River, N.J.
AP Photo/Mel Evans

Six of the workers were victims of superstorm Sandy. The house Darlene Riccio rented with her daughter was destroyed.

"I stayed with my brother for a few months, and I got a little apartment above the store front. So the first thing I'm gonna do is buy me and my daughter a home and bring my dog back home," she said.

But first New Jersey's newest millionaires went back to the garage. They had to finish their shifts.

  • Terrell Brown

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