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Published: Sunday, May 6, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

Transit workers back on job after lottery win

  • Many of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority employees who won the Powerball lottery pose with a ceremonial check on Friday in Phila...

    Matt Rourke / Associated Press

    Many of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority employees who won the Powerball lottery pose with a ceremonial check on Friday in Philadelphia.

PHILADELPHIA -- Four dozen Philadelphia transit agency workers who won a $172 million Powerball drawing are all still working and don't intend to change much about their lives despite becoming millionaires.
A pool of workers at the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority's headquarters scored the winning ticket in the April 25 multi-state lottery.
Though the annuity payout of 30 annual installments was $172 million, the group decided to take a one-time cash payout, reducing their windfall to a mere $107.5 million. Split 48 ways, it amounts to a little more than $2.2 million each before taxes.
Most of the "SEPTA 48," as they call themselves, attended a news conference Friday at the agency's headquarters to smile for cameras with a giant ceremonial check for $107,533,278 from Pennsylvania Lottery officials. The real thing will be in winners' hands in four to six weeks, lottery executive director Todd Rucci said.
All who spoke expressed gratitude for the security the windfall will provide their families, but said they don't plan to make any drastic alterations.
"I will still bring my lunch every day," said winner Bryant Vaders. "My wife makes a lovely lunch for me."
There are technically 49 winners because two co-workers split the $5 per-person buy-in for the office pool. They will split their $2.2 million share.
The crowd ranges in age from 26 to 69 and has logged SEPTA tenure from less than a year to 42 years. They work in a variety of departments. They declined to give specifics on their job titles but said none of the winners currently works as a driver.
Daniel DeSantis, the 42-year SEPTA employee, noted that all the winners showed up for work the next day and continue to do so.
Marylouise Wagner said she had surgery in January and returned to work after "a long unpaid absence. ... I just want to give my message to everyone -- don't ever give up because you never know what's right around the corner," she said.

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