A group of workers at a New Jersey restaurant were left devastated after mistakenly reading the wrong numbers on their office pool Powerball ticket believing, for a brief moment, they had won the jackpot.
Employees at Grissini Restaurant in Englewood Cliffs began celebrating after thinking they had matched all five white numbers and the red Powerball number from Saturday night’s drawing. With no winners from the previous Wednesday draw the massive prize had reached US$950 million.
Video of the heartbreaking scene showed employees hugging and jumping for joy as the numbers were being read.
But it was not to be.
“I got a text from a friend of mine and he sent me numbers which we thought were the winning numbers but they turned out to be Wednesday’s numbers,” Charles Poveromo, 55, who works as a bartender, told CBS news. “I thought [the other employees] would take it a lot harder than they did.”
The owner of the restaurant Anthony DelGatto admitted that while he felt bad for his employees he was happy no one ended up quitting.
“I’m sure I would have lost all the employees,” DelGatto told CBS. “The dishwashers were very happy — they didn’t have to wash dishes anymore. Our valet parker told a guy to go get his own car.”
The restaurant has been having fun with the mix-up and employees have made a number of media appearances. On the restaurant’s Facebook page they compared it to Steve Harvey crowning the wrong winner at the Miss Universe Pageant.
The Powerball eventually grew into an unprecedented US$1.6 billion and on Wednesday it was announced the massive windfall will be split three ways. The winning tickets were bought in Florida, Tennessee and a Los Angeles suburb.
© 2016 Shaw Media