A family of 17 will share a $20M lottery win after several years of playing for the jackpot. Family matriarch, Flossie Endreson, died in 2004, but the 17 siblings carried on her tradition of playing the lottery and it finally paid off for this New Jersey family who survived the disaster of Hurricane Sandy.
CNN reports that the Endreson siblings range in age from 53 to 76. Their participation in the lottery started decades ago when their mother, Flossie, dreamed of buying Jersey Shore bungalows for everyone — a majority of the family reside there. Four siblings lost their homes in Sandy and another died not long thereafter.
Family spokeswoman Marie McHenry says after the family helped pay for Flossie’s funeral expenses, the money left over went towards lottery plays. Everyone in the family works and they will continue to do so.
McHenry says the $20M lottery jackpot “couldn’t have come at a better time.”
The entire win came to $20.1 million and the Endresons opted for the lump sum payment of $14 million, which comes to about $10 million after taxes, this according to the New Jersey lottery. Just exactly how the family plans to divide the winnings isn’t specified, but they want to share it with the three children of their brother, whom died recently.
John Endreson shed tears during the press conference as he recalled losing his home in Superstorm Sandy. He shares that the storm “depleted my savings and now things are looking pretty good. Thanks to the state of New Jersey and my mom. Thank you all.”
New York Daily News reports that it was Sigrid Endreson who purchased the lottery ticket when she went to get a jug of milk. The ticket cost just $1 from their pool of money chipped in. Sigrid wasn’t even aware she held the winning ticket for two weeks until a lottery machine informed her to go see a cashier. Sigrid recalls:
“I thought I was a criminal. Then I started to cry and I called my sister to come and get me. I think I won the lottery!”
The family plans to use the majority of the $20M win on home repairs from Sandy and some of the funds to go towards future lotteries that they’ll still keep playing.
Their mother would be proud to know her family shares the $20M lottery jackpot at a time it’s needed most for them.
[Photo Credit: NJ Lottery/NY Daily News]