Transit workers win $172 million lottery

PHILADELPHIA — A pool of 48 workers at Philadelphia’s transit agency scored the jackpot-winning ticket in this week’s $172.7 million Powerball drawing, lottery officials said Thursday.

The winning ticket in Wednesday’s drawing for the multi-state lottery was sold at a newsstand at a downtown mall, Pennsylvania Lottery officials said. That ticket was bought by a group of employees who work at the headquarters of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, said Kristin Geiger, a spokeswoman for the agency.

SEPTA operates buses, trains and trolleys in the city and its suburbs and is regularly strapped for cash. Its downtown headquarters is right across the street from the newsstand where the winning ticket was sold.

“We’re excited for them,” Geiger said — acknowledging she was not among the winners. In a statement, SEPTA said the group — a mix of staffers and managers — wished to remain anonymous.

The pool of winning workers features people who have worked for the agency for as little as two years while others have been there for nearly 40 years, the agency said.

Geiger said she didn’t know how many tickets the group had bought, or how often they had played the Powerball, which is sold in 42 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Wednesday’s winning ticket correctly matched all five white balls, 4-25-29-34-43, plus the red Powerball, 29. The winning ticket has an annuity value of $172.7 million and a cash value of $107,533,278.

Big as the prize is, it does not rank high on the biggest lottery jackpots of all time. That title belongs to last month’s $640 million Mega Millions jackpot.

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