Union County co-workers win $1 million Mega Millions prize

UNION COUNTY, N.C. — A last-minute decision by a group of co-workers in Union County ended with a nice payday.

When workers saw the $1.537 billion jackpot for Tuesday’s record Mega Millions jackpot, they decided it would be fun to start an office pool.

“We didn’t even realize how much the tickets were,” Katherine Lindsey McIntyre told lottery officials. “We just had everyone who wanted to participate chip in $1.”

The group purchased 11 Quick Pick tickets from the Zoom Express on Skyway Drive in Monroe.

[ Winning $1.5B Mega Millions ticket sold in Simpsonville, SC ]

DeCora Bowers was the first one to realize the group’s good luck.

“I checked the numbers on my phone using the lottery app,” Bowers said. “I was looking at the numbers and flipping through the tickets. When I got to the last one I couldn’t believe it.”

She immediately called another co-worker, Mary McNeely to tell her they’d won. They started playing phone tag, calling everyone in the group who would answer their phone.

The ones who didn’t answer found out the next morning when they went to work.

The group traveled to lottery headquarters in Raleigh Wednesday afternoon to claim their prize. They split the prize 22 ways and after required state and federal tax withholding, they each took home over $32,000.

Some shared plans of investing their winnings or using it to pay off student loans, while others said they plan to travel.

Barbara Medlin plans to use the money to fulfill her dream of having a second child.

“My husband and I have had a lot of fertility issues,” Medlin said. “We’ve been trying to save enough money to adopt. We were $7,000 short, so that will take care of it for us. It’s a huge relief.”

[ Lucky break: Man injured trying to buy lotto ticket, joins hospital pool, wins $1 million ]

Lamont Reaves wants to experience a little bit of American history.

“I’m going to go to Oregon and visit the last Blockbuster store,” Reaves said. “It’s Blockbuster. It’s historical and nostalgic,” he added.

The winning ticket matched the five white balls to win $1 million. It beat odds of one in 12,607,306 and was one of two sold in North Carolina to win $1 million prizes in the drawing.

Read more top trending stories on wsoctv.com: