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Employees hit Florida Lottery raffle jackpot

Jul 11, 2007, 2:45 pm

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Florida Lottery

A group of lucky workers from a distributor of electronic components will celebrate Independence Day much differently next year.

Sandra Pope-Guerriero of Pinellas Park, who works at Cross Components Inc. claimed a $1 million prize for herself and seven coworkers who pitched in to buy 16 Florida Lottery Firecracker tickets.

Pope-Guerriero bought the winning ticket at Rockwell's Pub & Liquors on Starkey Road, one of two lottery retailers in the same shopping plaza that sold winning tickets.

The holder of the other ticket bought a $20 Firecracker at Tobacco Discount #2, but hadn't turned in his numbers yet.

The eight coworkers who pooled their money have received a lump sum payment of about $93,750 each, according to lottery spokesman Alfred Bea. The employees at the company's headquarters on Starkey Road just got their money on Monday, said Pope-Guerriero.

The government takes 25 percent off the top even before the money is distributed leaving it to the winners to work out their tax bills with their accountants.

"I'm happy," said Pope-Guerriero, who said she intends to keep on working. "I'll pay a few bills. It's not going to change my life."

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