ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, New Jersey — Some people fantasize about quitting their job the second they win the Powerball jackpot. That’s what a group of restaurant employees was hoping for in New Jersey. They thought they had won the Powerball — nearly $1 billion — only to find out they were reading the wrong numbers!
Julian Trejos runs the valet station at Grissini Restaurant in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.
On Saturday night, January 9th, the group of co-workers gathered at the restaurant’s bar to check their Powerball numbers from a pooled ticket they purchased as a group.
Incredibly — they hit every number!
It was surreal, and the celebration was captured by the restaurant’s surveillance cameras.
“That was the 20 minutes most important of my life. I feel great,” Pedro Maza, Grissini’s cook said.
Valet drivers, bus boys and cooks in the kitchen, including Maza, all thought that they were going to share in the winnings and begin a new life.
As you’ll recall, Saturday’s jackpot was a record $900 million.
Each member of this group would have walked away with a cool $22 million after taxes. They had already done the math.
After learning they had hit every number, one of the restaurant’s cooks tossed his apron and quit his job on the spot.
There was just one problem.
The co-workers checked their ticket against numbers from WEDNESDAY’S Powerball drawing. There was no winner.
On Saturday, these co-workers were looking at an out-of-date website that listed the old set of winning numbers.
It was up to bartender Charles Poveromo and host Cladio Campos to break the bad news to their co-workers.
“I’m staring on his phone. I didn’t want to believe that, but I just like, ‘OK, that’s the truth.’ The guys are still jumping around over there. I’m like, ‘Oh, my God,'” Campos said.
“I realized that something that was desperately, seriously wrong,” Poveromo said.
This group of restaurant employees was “Steve Harvey’d!”
You’ll recall, Steve Harvey announced the WRONG Miss Universe winner on live television after reading the card wrong.