TODAY

TODAY   |  August 14, 2013

16 Hurricane Sandy survivors win lotto in NJ

The seven men and nine women from a New Jersey office pool are a colorful cast of characters, and now they’re $3.8 million richer after hitting one of the biggest jackpots in history. NBC’s Katy Tur reports.

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>> everyone dreams of hitting the jackpot and that dream is not reality for 16 coworkers from new jersey who claimed one of the winning tickets in last week's $448 million powerball drawing. katie has their story. good morning.

>> hey there, matt. as of last week these guys were making $35,000 each. now they have 86 million to split between them. yes, they are the luckiest office pool in america. pure joy after hitting one of the biggest jackpots of all time. 16 ocean county maintenance workers now known as ocean 16.

>> we're very happy, happy, happy.

>> 9 women and 7 men, you could call the office pool a cast of colorful characters. suddenly $3.8 million richer. each had their own reaction. there are the jokers. willie in his duck dynasty t-shirt.

>> my fellow americans. i just wanted -- this is my best outfit.

>> and lisa who couldn't believe her luck.

>> i had to wake my poor husband up who is no longer poor.

>> the emotional ones like barbara whose late father in a twist of fate is the new jersey lawmaker who created the state lottery .

>> i couldn't ask for a better dad and i wish he was here to share in the moment.

>> and the ones who now have a chance to set things right. ten months ago when hurricane sandy put a target on the jersey shore , thousands lost their homes. darlene was one of them.

>> the first thing i'm going to do is buy me and my daughter a home and bring my dog back home.

>> reporter: boarded up windows, downed power lines , neighborhoods still scarred by damage. ocean county , new jersey was due for a little bit of good news. instead, they got $86 million worth.

>> maybe i'll be at my log cabin on multiple acres of land.

>> all but one is expected to keep working at the vehicle maintenance garage. then again that was tuesday. you might want to check in with willie today. after all, holding that $3.8 million check, and it is a very big check, that might make you reconsider some things.