Ocean County family to split $20 million jackpot
A lotto ticket worth $20.1 million will be split 20 ways, among 17 brothers and sisters of the Endreson family as well as three children of a brother who died a few years ago.
On Thursday, the expansive family gathered at the Beachwood Community Center to share the news of their payday. The family opted to take a lump sum payment of $14 million, worth about $10 million after taxes.
The tradition of buying lotto tickets goes back for the Endreson family to their mother Flossie, who would regularly buy tickets with the intent of sharing them among the 18 siblings. After her death in 2004, the siblings pooled their money to pay for funeral and burial expenses. However, there was money leftover afterward, which allowed them to continue the family lotto pool.
"Sigrid (the sister who purchased the winning ticket) said 'take your money back everybody' and no one would take their money, so she looked around and said 'do you want to continue the family lottery pool,'" said Marie McHenry, a sister now living in Little Egg Harbor.
Thirteen of the Endreson siblings live in Ocean County and range in age from 53 to 76 years old. Several of the family members lost their homes in Sandy and recently one of their siblings passed away, leaving three children, who will receive a share of the money.
John Endreson of Seaside Heights spent the majority of his life savings repairing his home after Superstorm Sandy, thanks in part to the help of family.
"I just feel so lucky and this is just the icing on the cake. (The storm repairs) depleted my savings and now things are looking up pretty good," he said.
The family wouldn't disclose specifically how the money would be divided, but said there were no plans for any wild or reckless expenditures.