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New Jersey restaurant workers' Powerball celebration proves premature

By
Ben Hooper
Workers at a New Jersey restaurant celebrate upon mistakenly believing they won the Powerball lottery drawing. CBS Philly video screenshot
Workers at a New Jersey restaurant celebrate upon mistakenly believing they won the Powerball lottery drawing. CBS Philly video screenshot

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Workers at a New Jersey restaurant were caught on camera celebrating wildly upon finding out they had won a $900 million Powerball jackpot -- but their jubilance proved premature.

The 42 workers at Grissini's restaurant in Englewood Cliffs pooled their money to purchase tickets for Saturday's $900 million drawing, and footage filmed at the eatery Saturday night shows the workers checking their tickets against the winning numbers -- and finding they had matched every number.

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The workers, who expected to each receive $22 million, began celebrating, with one cook even throwing down his apron and quitting on the spot.

However, after about 20 minutes, the workers realized they had made a mistake -- the list of winning numbers they were looking at was from Wednesday's drawing instead of Saturday's.

"It was the 20 minutes, most important of my life! I feel great," Pedro Maza, a cook at the restaurant, told WPIX-TV.

"I still can't believe it, what a feeling!" co-worker Charlie Poveromo told WABC-TV.

Bartender Charles Poveromo and host Claudio Campos had to deliver the bad news to their jubilant colleagues.

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"I'm staring at his phone, and I didn't want to believe that," Campos said. " I said 'oh my God!' And I'm looking around, and the guys were still behind me jumping around."

The workers joked they now know the pain of Miss Colombia, who was briefly crowned Miss Universe due to a mistake by host Steve Harvey.

The restaurant said the workers who quit their jobs were all welcomed back to their former positions.

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