Fantastic dreams of taking home all of a record $115 million jackpot from Pennsylvania's Super 7 lottery slipped away as 14 winning tickets turned up in an initial computer scan of wagers.
Lottery Executive Director Jim Scroggins said each of the 14 tickets will be worth $317,524.67 in annual payments over the next 26 years. If one person had won the jackpot, it would have been worth $4.4 million a year.Still, the first two groups of apparent winners were happy Thursday to claim just a share, even if the money won't bring early retirements.
"It's better than nothing," said Gregory G. Samsa, of Warren, Ohio, who served as spokesman for a group of 14 workers from the Harbison-Walker brick factory in Windham, Ohio.
If their ticket is validated, possibly early next week, each of the 14 will get $22,680 a year before taxes for 26 years.
Alverto Handel, 65, of Portage, Pa.; her son, Jim, 39, a coal miner from Summerhill, Pa.; and daughter, Nancy Williams, 34, a library technician at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., also presented a ticket for validation.
More winners were expected at lottery headquarters today - exactly one year after a bogus winning ticket for a $15.2 million jackpot was turned in and a check for nearly $470,000 was issued by lottery officials.
An employee of the lottery's computer contractor who had access to the system produced the fake ticket and an accomplice turned it in. Lottery officials discovered the scheme several days later and recovered the money. Both men received jail terms after pleading guilty. The lottery has since beefed up its validation process, which can take days to complete.
A second set of computers must also validate the jackpot and the number of winning tickets before both become official, Scroggins said.
Reports circulated Thursday that winners from northwestern and southwestern Pennsylvania as well as New Jersey were set to claim shares of this week's jackpot. A family from New Jersey told reporters they also had a winning ticket.