Mar 18, 2008, 2:00 pm
If you thought you'd just won a fortune, would you go to work the next day? Eight women who toil in a tax office in Morgantown, West Virginia did just that on Monday, as they anxiously await confirmation that they hold the winning ticket in a $276.3 million lottery jackpot.
But whether they'll be back again this week is another matter. The women claim to be the sole big winners in the Powerball lottery, and if they're right, each stands to be transformed from ordinary civil servants into multi-millionaires.
Sheriff's Deputy Roger Magro is married to one of them. When one of the other ticket holders came pounding on his door at 2am Saturday, just hours after the draw, he thought something terrible had happened. He was wrong.
"I just thought, 'You're full of baloney,'" he recalls. "But she was adamant about it."
Until everything is squared away, the women decided to go back to work just in case, as sheriff's deputies kept watch on them. But not everyone is quite so cautious. At least one of their husbands has already quit his job.
If their win is confirmed, they will receive a lump sum payout of $140 million before taxes. After the government gets its hands on its share, they'd be left with about $95.5 million — or roughly $12 million a piece.
West Virginia Lottery Director John Musgrave talked Monday with Linda Fominko, chief deputy in the tax office and one of the eight apparent winners, White said.
"They have sought professional advice and seem to be well prepared," she said.
The Powerball lottery regularly boasts some of the biggest jackpots in the world. The all-time win came in February 2006, when eight workers at a meatpacking plant collected $365 million in the take-a-chance contest. This latest win — if it's confirmed — is the seventh biggest ever.
The winners in this case have yet to say what their plans are — but just don't expect them to report for duty on Wednesday.
And what will Sheriff's Deputy Roger Magro do? He already turned in his resignation letter.
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