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Coworkers miss out on $319M jackpot

UPI News Service, 04/01/2011 

A group of seven Albany, N.Y., coworkers are splitting a $319 million lottery prize while five others are regretting not chipping in for the ticket.

Mike, an IT worker at the Albany Department of Housing and Community Renewal who declined to give his last name, said he usually chips in $2 for the office Mega Millions pool but he and four others decided to sit out the most recent drawing, which yielded $19 million each for the seven workers who did play, ABC News reported Friday.

"I just wasn't feeling lucky that day," Mike said.

He said he and the others who sat out the drawing are happy for their coworkers.

"These seven were the hardest working state employees I've ever come across, go-getters," he said. "I'll be sad to see them leave. They were such great people."

Mike Barth, 63, who purchased the winning ticket for the group, said he nearly wound up with a completely different number.

"I was at the counter and it was my turn to buy a ticket when I reached down to grab a Snickers bar from the candy display," Barth said. "I like Snickers Dark and I said I just got to have one. And someone reached over me, actually cut in front of me to buy a ticket. I thought about saying something, but let it slide. I bought the next ticket -- the winning ticket. "

Barth's fellow winners are Gabrielle Mahar, 29, John Hilton, 57, John Kutey, 54, Tracy Sussman, 41, Kristin Baldwin, 42, Leon Peck, 63.

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