Hardworking Ground Zero hardhats struck gold on Christmas Eve, hitting a $250,000 lottery jackpot.
The 18 workers on the transit hub at the World Trade Center site were winners of the Mega Millions drawing that night by picking five of six numbers.
"It's a great way to start off the new year," said foreman Patrick Hickey, 44, of Westbury, L.I. "We are all ecstatic."
The guys - who work for a number of different trade unions - have been running a workplace pool for a year-and-a-half, each tossing $5 into a pot once a week.
Until Dec. 24, they hadn't won a dime, but that night, they almost walked off with a $168 million bonanza.
Using the automatic Quick Pick option, they correctly had the numbers 15, 16, 27, 40 and 52, but 18 for the Mega Ball - which was two digits off from the winning number 16.
"I can't even think about that," said carpenter John Kennedy, 47, of Richmond Hill, Queens, who purchased the $90 block of tickets at a newsstand in the shadow of the fast-rising Freedom Tower.
"This was still pretty amazing," he said. "It's a great little Christmas present."
The pool later swelled to $380 million, the second-largest jackpot in U.S. history. It was won by two people in Tuesday's drawing - one in Washington State and the other in Idaho.
Friday, January 7, 2011
Ground Zero workers win Mega Millions.
From the NY Daily News: