OCEAN COUNTY – Over the past month, residents in Ocean County have been winning big when it comes to the New Jersey Lottery.
Drawings for the Powerball and Mega Millions reached extreme highs: the Powerball reaching $731.1 million on January 21 and the Mega Millions reaching $1 billion, being the second-largest Mega Millions jackpot in history.
Here at Jersey Shore Online, we’ve reported several winnings in the last month. Approximately 10 winners in the past several weeks, totaling to almost $2.5 million. The luckiest winner was the recent Mega Millions Jackpot winner from the January 22 drawing. The winning ticket was purchased in Brick Township and won the second-tier prize of $1 million.
When asked ‘what would you do if you won the lottery?’, many Ocean County residents surprisingly had similar answers. Many said the first thing they would do is move out of Ocean County or use the money to go on vacation.
“I play with the hopes of winning. I will help people who need help, with all that money I don’t have a care in the world for myself it would be for everyone else. But I definitely would travel, see all the places I want to see, hopefully without COVID-19 restrictions,” Sue Nodes from Toms River said.
“I’ve never won the lottery before but if I did, I would take my family and friends on a beautiful well-deserved vacation. When I return home, I would make sure my whole family was set up to live a comfortable worry-free life,” Lisa Matesic said.
Some residents said they would like the donate their winnings to charities.
“I’d finish my house and donate to charity,” Donna Wells Peters said.
“Pay off my mortgage, donate to family and friends and many charities,” Cheryl Skolski Mattila Certosimo from Manahawkin said.
One resident even discussed how he won the lottery years ago. “I actually did win lotto like thirty years ago. $1,000! 5/6 numbers…. hope that wasn’t my last win,” Alberto Gancitano said.
So, what is making Ocean County such a lucky spot for winning lottery tickets? Is it just pure luck or is there more to it?
Missy Gillespie from the New Jersey Lottery explained how it really is just the luck of the draw.
“While we are living in challenging times, we hope that the Lottery has provided all players with inexpensive entertainment. For only a few dollars players can get in the game and dream. This year has proven to be extremely lucky for New Jersey lottery players. We get winners all the time, from all over the state, including the two recent Powerball jackpots, the winner of $23.2 million in Passaic County and another of $33.2 million in Morris County a week apart from each other. The Passaic County win also included a second-tier prize of $1 million at the same store. Some called that lightning striking twice,” Gillespie said.
Although the odds of winning do not matter when it comes to geography, there are more people and more businesses in some areas of New Jersey which means more possible sites for Lottery retailers and a larger pool of potential Lottery players.
“The number of people playing does not change the odds, but the more people that are playing in a given area, the more opportunities for one of them to have a winning ticket,” Missy said.
According to NJ Lottery, January 2021 players benefitted from a record Jersey Cash 5 jackpot, back-to-back jackpot Powerball weekends, and some CASH4LIFE prizes resulting in 18 new millionaires in the Garden State. Winners took home prizes from $1 million to $33.2 million, with one of the winners being from Ocean County.
Will Ocean County continue this hot streak of winners? Time will tell!