Office Pool Pays Forward Lottery Winnings to Co-Worker

By Elizabeth Smith
|  Thursday, Mar 28, 2013  |  Updated 1:29 PM EDT
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Office Pool Pays Forward Lottery Winnings to Co-Worker

Today

An office group won $1 million on a Powerball drawing.

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Jennifer Maldonado came to work on Sunday at a real estate office in Plantation, Fla., to a shocking celebration: the office lottery pool had won and she had not pitched in for the tickets.

Maldonado had only been working in the office for two weeks as an administrative assistant since being laid off from her previous job. The mother of a 4-year-old with autism decided to save her money since she had not yet received her first paycheck, according to NBC's "Today" show. Co-workers offered to pitch in her portion, but she declined.

A group of 12 entered the pool at $20 each and one of their tickets had five of the Powerball numbers, awarding them $1 million. After hearing about their success, Maldonado said, “I was shocked and I definitely had a moment of regret, but it disappeared right away because I was overwhelmed with happiness for my entire group.”

Each of the contributors will take home $83,000 after taxes and have decided to share a portion of the prize with Maldonado. They have not disclosed how much but she'll receive more than $5,000, according to "Today."

“I honestly believe that my group and I are getting more joy than Jennifer is getting just by including her," Finkelstein Reader, the organizer of the office lottery purchase, said during a "Today" appearance with Maldonado.

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