LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

Sacramento, Calif. – A group of California co-workers who decided to play the lottery on a whim won last month’s $543 million Mega Millions jackpot, the largest prize ever on a single state ticket, the California Lottery said Friday.

The 11 co-workers who work in the financial industry in the San Francisco Bay Area said they don’t have a regular lottery pool but decided to chip in $2 a piece when they heard how big the jackpot had become, the Lottery said in a news release Friday.

“It was spur of the moment,” said Roland Reyes, the only person among the co-workers whose name has been released, the Lottery said.

“ ‘Hey, did you hear about the jackpot? We should play,’ “ Reyes said, according to the Lottery.

Reyes and his newly multimillionaire co-workers, who range in age from 21 to 60, claimed the prize the day after the July 24 draw, the Lottery said.

Remarkably, Reyes said he and his co-workers plan on keeping their jobs, though they declined to specify where the group works.

“We love that company,” he said. “We love what we’ve built there. We have a good time and want to stay together.”

The group can take $543 million over 30 years or a lump-sum option of $320.5 million. Both options are before taxes.

They have declined to speak to reporters or be photographed.

Ernie’s Liquor in San Jose, where Reyes bought the winning ticket, gets $1 million for its role in the jackpot.

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Read or Share this story: https://detne.ws/2LNamUC