Five friends win Mega Millions jackpot after trying for several years; ticket bought in Yonkers

The five winners receiving their jackpot prize of $106 million from Yolanda Vega. (NYS Gaming Commission)

For more than 10 years, five friends would pool their money and take turns to buy lottery tickets for the Mega Millions jackpot. It was 52-year-old Edgar Lopez's turn when he bought the winning Quick Pick ticket for a jackpot of $106 million.

Lopez, a limousine driver from Yonkers, went to Yonkers Grocery and Convenience on Yonkers Avenue to buy a ticket for the Sept. 11 Mega Millions drawing.

"We take turns buying tickets and it was my turn," said Lopez in a news release from the NYS Gaming Commission. Lopez told his friends that they won the jackpot the weekend following the drawing.

"I told them that something good has happened," he said, giving them all a copy of the winning ticket.

The winning numbers from the drawing were 05, 11, 31, 50, 67 and the Mega Ball was 14.

The other lucky winners and long time friends of Lopez include: husband and wife Manuel Hernandez, 45, also a limousine driver from Yonkers, and Acela Hernandez, 51,a housekeeper; Angela Pajes, 45, a daycare teacher from Basking Ridge, N.J.; and Miguel Acosta, 47, a business owner from Yonkers.

"We promised each other that we would split the prize if we ever won," Lopez said.

The group split the prize evenly with each friends, with each person receiving a single, lump sum payment of $13,102,595. The New York winners will each receive a net check totaling $8,477,726, after taxes are taken out. Pajes, who lives in New Jersey, will receive a single net payment of $8,671,297.

They each have different plans with their money, including vacations to Miami and France, as well as saving money.

The group's reaction was summed up by Lopez as, "Wow! We are all very, very happy. We have worked hard all of our lives, and to have this happen is just amazing."
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