Tempe coworkers split lottery winnings, ready for more

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PHOENIX – The jackpot is already up to $312 million and it's expected to go up even more before Friday's big Mega Millions drawing.

It's one of the biggest jackpots in Arizona history. The odds of winning aren't great, but it can be done as a group of folks showed us with their ticket worth $250,000.

Steve Bowen bought tickets for 42 friends and co-workers at Microchip Technology, Inc. They have been playing for six years.

"I hand-checked them myself through the little machine and I only got two winners," Bowen said. "Usually I get six or seven and so I was like ‘this stinks this time’ and I said one of these better be a big one."

It was a big one. The ticket was worth $250,000. They hit every single number except the Mega Ball. If they had that number, it would have been worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

"Yeah, one number… number 43. It will haunt me forever," Bowen laughed.

Splitting the money 42 ways means that, after taxes, they each get a check for more than $4,000.

"I'm going to put it in the bank and let it show as a big balance for a little while," Elva Cantu said.

As a single mother the money will come in handy for her.

"After taxes, I feel like I'm rich now," she said. "It will definitely help me and the kids out."

Jin Xu is headed to Vegas with his money.

"I am actually going to Vegas this weekend and everybody is like, ‘Don’t blow the check’, but we'll see," he said.

Bowen can't spend the money until he checks in with his financial consultant. He chuckles as he explains, "I’m still talking about that with my wife. I know what I want to do with it. She knows what she wants to do with it."

One guy decided to buy and play a Scratcher ticket while waiting for his check and he won another $25.

His friends are hoping the luck won’t run out before Friday. They are already buying a couple hundred more tickets for the next big drawing.

"We are going to keep going!" Cantu shouted. "We are going to keep going until we win the big one! Lightning does strike twice!"

They each pitch in $5 every time the Powerball or Mega Millions gets over $150 million. Then, they buy around 200 to 250 tickets.