A group of co-workers at a firm that manufactures macular degeneration medications suddenly have a much brighter future.
The "Lucky 16 Trust," 16 colleagues in the Manhattan office of Ophthotech, a biopharmaceutical company, won the $58 million Mega Millions jackpot March 24, it was announced Thursday
New York Lottery's Yolanda Vega presented the winners with an oversized check for $58 million -- designed for photo ops -- Thursday morning at One Penn Plaza's Carlton Cards, where the winning ticket was purchased.
"There was a lot of energy," in the Ophthotech conference room after the drawing when participants realized they had won, said Matthew Jung, a member of the Lucky 16 Trust. "We told ourselves to focus on work like nothing has happened. To be honest, we didn't accomplish a lot that day."
The colleagues have been pooling their money to buy Mega Millions tickets since 2010, contributing $4 weekly toward the purchase of multistate game tickets. Six of the sixteen co-workers are from New York City. The others are from New Jersey and Accord, NY, with one woman shuttling between New York and Venice, California.
Splitting a one-time after tax cash payment of $38,334,435, each winner will receive more than $1.65 million. The group's plans for the money include paying off school loans and mortgages as well as investing for retirement. They did not respond to questions asking if they planned to quit their jobs.
Jay Patel, owner of Penn Plaza's Carlton Cards received a $10,000 check for selling the jackpot-winning ticket.
"We have a lot of winners here every month," said Patel, 69. "I think the store is lucky."