Tue. Jul 23rd, 2024

PANDEMONIUM broke out in a restaurant after workers had their numbers come up for a $1billion Powerball jackpot – or so they thought.

Servers, cooks and bartenders in New Jersey cried tears of joy and waved their arms in the air after thinking their lives had been changed for ever.

YOUTUBECCTV footage captured the moment the restaurant workers celebrated winning the Jackpot[/caption]

FacebookThe winning numbers of the $1billion Powerball Jackpot lottery[/caption]

The 42 employees who had pooled their money and bought $210 (£165) worth of tickets that week thought they had just struck gold.

So much so that one of the staff even quit his job on the spot.

The workers can be seen on video reading through the numbers, with another shouting “Yes!” with each successive match.

When the person reading off the ticket eventually announces the Powerball, the entire restaurant erupts in cheers.

Staff at Grissini Restaurant in Englewood Cliffs, NJ, believed they had just won $900million (£710million).

That was, however, until somebody realised the horror reality of the situation.

The restaurant employees had, in fact, mistakenly compared Wednesday’s winning numbers to their Saturday ticket.

Their ticket, which included numbers 2, 11, 47, 62, 63 and a Powerball of 17, was an exact match for the previous Wednesday’s $528m (£416m) prize.

“It was like getting punched in the stomach,” said Charlie Poveromo, 55, who had worked as a bartender at the restaurant for 13 years, when speaking to the New York Post in 2016.

The report added that Charlie’s friend had texted him the latest Powerball numbers — but failed to realise the website hadn’t been updated yet.

Little did he know, it was still showing Wednesday’s winning combination.

He said: “I picked up my phone and start calling out the numbers to everyone here.

“All the numbers matched our tickets. Then pandemonium hit. 

“There was just so much joy, and I can’t put into words the feelings of euphoria that we all felt.

“When we found out, it was like a balloon deflating.”

Another waiter, Claudio Campos, said: “It was like a bucket of ice was just thrown on all of our dreams.”

He said a diner had interrupted the celebrations to point out the real winning numbers on his phone.

Claudio said: “We all started hugging each other and jumping around… We had that amazing feeling that nobody can explain.

“I looked at it again and I was speechless… I had to give the bad news to the guys.”

Video of the unfortunate misunderstanding has recently resurfaced and is going viral once more.

Despite the harrowing reality for the restaurant workers on that night seven years ago, Charlie said at the time that he couldn’t believe that their ticket came so close to winning.

“I still can’t believe it,” he said. “What a feeling.”

In October, a Powerball player sensationally won the second largest ever jackpot after months of nail-biting rollovers.

The $1.7bn (£1.3bn) ticket was sold in Frazier Park, California – and matched all six winning numbers.

And one woman is $60m AUD (£31m) richer after winning a recent Powerball – but it was some time before she realised.

The Lott struggled to get a hold of the lucky Aussie because she wouldn’t answer her phone.

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