By Maria Jose Subiria
For the last six months, nine co-workers at Premier Transportation in Forest Park have made it a ritual to play the Georgia Lottery's Mega Millions game.
That dedication paid off royally on Jan. 27, when the nine matched the first five winning numbers in the drawing and won $250,000, for a second-place finish.
"It was a surprise, and we were all hoping to win, so Rene [Candice] Goodson, from the billing treasury department, checked and rechecked the numbers to make sure they matched," said Deborah Griffith, 55, of McDonough. "It was a blessing," Griffith said. "One of the guys paid off his house."
According to Griffith, the winning numbers were the hiring dates of the employees who participated in the lottery.
In addition to Griffith and Goodson, 29, of Covington, the winning employees are: Tiffany Carter, 27, of Rex; Barbara Hughes, 36, of Jonesboro; Deborah Griffiths, 34, of Locust Grove; Robin Stone, 45, of Riverdale; Melanie Johnson, 30, of Hampton; Terry Wade, 51, of Stockbridge; and Marlena Cook, 51, of McDonough.
The winning numbers were 3-11-12-14-21 and the Mega Ball was 25. Goodson purchased the lucky ticket at Oak Hill BP, at 3300 Highway 81 S., in Covington, on her way home from work.
The next day, before leaving for work, she checked the Georgia Lottery's web site for the winning numbers.
"Honestly, I couldn't believe it," said Goodson. "I was highlighting each number, and I kept going. When I got to the end of the line, I dropped everything."
Griffith said the co-workers decided to split the winnings equally, and have continued to play the lottery.
She said, although the prize wasn't enough for her to quit her job, "The money gave me security, 'specially how the economy is nowadays."