Monday, April 27, 2015

N.J. man claims Mega Millions jackpot

A Joe from Tinton Falls wins again.

Apparently it's lucky to be a guy named Joe from Tinton Falls, N.J.

For the second time in just 14 months, a Joe who lives in the Monmouth County town (population 18,000) has stepped forward to collect a major lottery jackpot.

On Thursday, Giuseppe “Joe” Garofalo claimed his half of the $198 annuity jackpot from last Friday's Mega Millions drawing. He bought his ticket at Kwik Farms in the Monmouth County town.

The other winning ticket was sold in Farmville, Va., a rural town west of Richmond.

In March 2012, Celeste and Joseph Tamburello were the only winners of a $70 million annuity jackpot in Powerball. They opted for the $43.5 million cash.

Garofalo also went for the lump-sum payout, worth $73,279,052 (before taxes, of course).

He matched all the numbers drawn: 11, 15, 35, 43 and 49, with a Mega Ball of 41.

Garofalo told lottery officials he long believed he'd hit the lottery but was still surprised to learn he'd won and immediately told his wife.

Joseph Tamburello bought his winning ticket at Little Silver Pharmacy, in a nearby town. "I am going to trade in my cream puff Saturn for a brand new Cadillac!" Celeste said, while he added they were also planning "an amazing cruise vacation."

New Jersey had its biggest winner ever in March, as Pedro Quezada of Passaic hit an annuity jackpot worth $338.3 million and collected the cash, $211 million, less taxes.

For more on lotteries, go to Philly.com's lottery page, or the websites for Mega Millions, Powerball and the New Jersey Lottery.

Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or pmucha@phillynews.com.

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