NBCPhiladelphia.com - Denise Nakano
The wait is over! The Septa 48 come forward as the area's newest millionaires. The Septa workers who hit the $107 million Powerball jackpot held a news conference Friday and revealed their identities and plans. Denise Nakano has their story.
After all the hype and excitement, members of the SEPTA 48 revealed themselves to the public. They were introduced Friday morning at SEPTA headquarters in Center City.
Here they are:
The 48 SEPTA office workers won the $127.7-million Powerball jackpot on April 25. The winning ticket was sold at The Gallery at Market East.
A SEPTA worker who knows some of the winners told NBC10 they’ve decided to take their winnings in one lump sum instead of annual payments. The lump sum cash value for $172.7 million jackpot is $107.5 million which works out to nearly $2.4 million for each winner.
Most of the SEPTA lottery winners work on the 11th floor at headquarters on Market Street in Center City. They pooled their money and played the lottery consistently before their big win.
Lottery officials presented a check to the winners Friday at 11 a.m. during a press conference at SEPTA headquarters.
Seven of the SEPTA 48 spoke during the press conference:
Bob Landgraf of Abington served as the spokesman for the winners and was the first SEPTA 48 member to take the podium. He began his speech by holding up a Phillies shirt and stating ‘I wish these guys the same kind of success we had.’ He then proceeded to thank the SEPTA employees who helped them through the process.
Matt Sheridan, 26, of Hatboro talked about a co-worker who initially didn’t want to put in for the ticket. Sheridan ended up paying for him anyway, claiming he owed him money. Sheridan’s description of his co-workers reaction to the jackpot win drew huge laughs from the crowd.
“When we found out, he ran over and gave me a hug,” said Sheridan. “He said ‘I wanted to kiss you but that might be a little too much.’”
The most heartwarming story belonged to Marylouise Wagner of Essington. Wagner spoke about how she survived both an aggressive stage 3 breast cancer as well as heart surgery. On April 10, she returned to work after recovering from the surgery. 15 days later she beat the odds once again by winning the Powerball jackpot with her SEPTA co-workers.
“I just want to give my message to everyone,” said Wagner. “Don’t ever give up because you never know what’s right around the corner.”
Next to the podium came Pamela Schurgot of Mantua and Bryant Vanders of Philadelphia who collected the money from their co-workers and bought the ticket. Schurgot described the exhilarating moment when she realized she had the winning ticket.
“In the first page there’s one with the Powerball. I’m like okay, nothing there, yeah right. So I find another one that has three numbers on the ticket. So now I’m on the second page and there are two tickets with the Powerball number, first one no number. Second one, I’m like ‘4, 25, 29, oh my God! 34, 43, oh my God! Oh my God!”
Daniel Disantis, who has worked at SEPTA for 42 years, reflected on his career with the company.
“When I look at the light of the end of the tunnel it’s no longer a regional rail train coming at me,” said Disantis. “But it’s been a great 42-year career here.”
The last employee to speak was Larry Green. Green, who has worked at SEPTA for more than 30 years, was on the verge of tears telling a story of how he prayed for a winning ticket.
"I prayed for a lottery win,” said Green. “I prayed to certain saints. And after we won, I kept praying to those saints and I just wanted to say, never doubt the power of prayer, and that's it."
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