20 New York Costco Employees Win $200 Million Powerball Lottery

Ticket was sold from a Long Island store; winners yet to be identified.

June 2, 2011, 12:22 PM

June 2, 2011 — -- A group of Costco employees just got the best bargain of their lives.

Twenty co-workers at a Costco store in Melville, N.Y., shared the winning Powerball lottery ticket, earning them a $201.9 million jackpot, a store spokeswoman confirmed to ABC News.

The drawing was announced on Wednesday. No word yet on the identities of the employees, but the spokeswoman said they would likely announce who they are together.

The Quick-Pick ticket was purchased at the Maulik & Chandni stationery store in Lindenhurst, Long Island in New York. It matched all five numbers plus the Powerball to claim the grand prize.

The winning combination for this lottery was 8, 18, 38, 46 and 56, and the winning Powerball number was 31. Carolyn Hapeman, a spokeswoman for the New York State Lottery, said the date the ticket was sold will remain secret until the winners are identified.

This morning, the New York lottery informed Parul Patel and her husband, Mitul, that their store sold the winning lottery ticket.

This isn't the first time the store has sold a bit of luck. The Patels also sold a winning lottery ticket in September 2006 to a local man, James Grassia. Grassia won $1 million in the Red Hot Million game, according to lottery spokeswoman Hapeman.

The Patels, who also live on Long Island, named the store after their son, Maulik, and their niece Chandni.

"They're the lucky ones, we think," Parul Patel said.

The Patels have operated Maulik & Chandni in Lindenhurst for 11 years and have sold lottery tickets from the very start.

Parul Patel said her customers are almost all regulars from the neighborhood. She speculates that it was a group of local people who bought the winning Quick-Pick ticket.

"We're really excited," she said. "We think it's someone regular. That's a good feeling -- that a person you know who comes all the time won."

The odds of winning the grand prize for Powerball are one in 195 million, according to the Powerball website. The website also said two Match 5 Power Play tickets, each worth $1 million before taxes, were sold in Connecticut and North Carolina.

The jackpot had been growing since it was last hit in Merrillville, Ind. on April 23. The winner, William "Bill" Swanson II of Houston, won $74 million. He said he purchased the lottery ticket while visiting his mother in Indiana.

The latest winners of the $201.9 million prize will claim the second largest Powerball jackpot of the year. That's still below the $221.7 million jackpot that Michael Reardon and Darin Fox of Indiana won on April 6.

Powerball jackpots start at $20 million, which is currently higher than their popular counterpart, Mega-Millions. The Mega-Millions lottery is currently at $15 million and the next drawing will take place on Friday.

Powerball jackpot drawings are held on Wednesday and Saturday nights. The next drawing is June 4.

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