ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — With Wednesday’s Powerball jackpot up to $1.5 billion, co-workers have been pooling their money to buy tickets.
But imagine if your office pool won, only to find out it was a mistake.
As CBS2’s Tracee Carrasco reported, that was exactly happened to employees at a Bergen County restaurant.
Cellphone video captured the ecstatic moment that employees at Grissini Restaurant in Englewood Cliffs thought they hit the $950 million Powerball jackpot on Saturday night.
“It was a feeling of excitement, glory, the adrenaline — it was just an amazing feeling,” server Jimmy Torba said, “Maybe we can buy, open a business; we can donate some money; change our lives; be happy.”
That is until the heartbreaking realization that they were looking at the winning numbers from a previous drawing.
“At seven minutes after 11, I got a text from a friend of mine and he sent me numbers which we thought were the winning numbers, but it turns out to be Wednesday night’s numbers,” bartender Charles Poveromo said.
Poveromo, the organizer of the 42-person pool, said it was an honest mistake.
“I figured let me call my wife she should know. So she said, ‘Charlie, please just double check.’ So sure enough, I got on the phone and I’m shaking. I went to the website, and they finally had updated and it was a whole set of different numbers,” he said.
The celebration quickly turned to disappointment.
But the owner said a lottery win could have had consequences.
“I’m sure I would have lost all the employees. 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,” owner Anthony DelGatto said.
Meanwhile, people buying their tickets for Wednesday night’s record $1.5 billion drawing weren’t sure they could handle the lotto letdown.
“I would be so upset about that,” one woman said.
Grissini Restaurant employees have already pooled their money together and purchased their tickets for Wednesday night’s drawing. This time, they hope they really win.