Lottery Group Claims Prize

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Sixteen healthcare workers from the Ft. Myers area are a couple of million dollars richer Tuesday after hitting it big in the Florida Lottery.

They’ll split the proceeds from the $6 million winning ticket in Saturday night’s Lotto drawing. The group, who call themselves the Sweet 16, arrived by charter limo at Lottery Headquarters in Tallahassee Tuesday morning to claim their prize.

Karen Cyr says started the office pool about a year ago.

“Well, actually I thought it would increase the morale on the floor and allow people to have their dreams, so we started this lottery pool every pay period and each person would put in $3 and away we’d go and we’d joke about how we’re going to spend the money and what we’re going to do, rent a yacht, and here we are!”

All of the 16 winners suffered property damage or other trauma from Hurricane Charley two years ago, and several have had a tough time getting back on their feet.

They’re planning to use the money for home repairs still lingering from the storm.

The group chose a lump sum payout, which after taxes is about $2.5 million. Each winner gets a check for about $161,000.