Office workers claim $522M Mega Millions jackpot

California Lottery official Mike Neis right watches as Amol Sachdev hangs a sign over his family's store Ernie's Liquors where a Mega Millions lottery ticket worth more than $500 million was sold in San Jose Calif

California Lottery official Mike Neis right watches as Amol Sachdev hangs a sign over his family's store Ernie's Liquors where a Mega Millions lottery ticket worth more than $500 million was sold in San Jose Calif

The California Lottery has identified the winners of the July 24 Mega Millions drawing as an office pool of 11 people who work in Santa Clara County.

The group, between the ages of 21 and 60, each chipped in $2 to the pool before purchasing the lottery tickets from a "small business owner". At the time of the drawing, the prize was listed as $522 million but was later revised upwards to $543 million.

The winners have the option of either taking the full $543 million jackpot over 30 years or taking the final lump sum of $320.5 million, both before taxes.

"We want to keep our jobs", said Roland Reyes, who claimed the prize with other pool members, according to the release. Reyes said he wanted to get the tickets from a local mom & pop shop, adding, "We'll probably have a better chance".

All 11 members of the group plan to continue working at their company, according to a news release from California Lottery. "We love what we've built there".

Reyes bought the winning ticket at Ernie's Liquors in San Jose, which will receive a $1 million award for selling the winning ticket.

One woman in the group chimed in saying she would invest so she wouldn't be a "one-time millionaire".

Among the group's plans for the winnings: paying off mortgages, funding college tuition, helping family and traveling. They declined to speak to media or be photographed.

In addition to the 11 colleagues, the other victor in the deal was Kewal Sachdev, the co-owner of the store that sold the winning ticket, Ernie's Liquor in San Jose.

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