FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- After more than 20 years of working for Southeast Bank, Carlos Padron got a pink slip six weeks ago. Last week his son lost his job at another firm.
But that doesn't matter as much now because of a different kind of slip: a winning Lotto ticket worth nearly $15 million.
Padron and 17 co-workers in Southeast Bank's computer operations department in Miami won a one-sixth share of an $89.78 million jackpot in a department pool, he said. What made it sweeter is that many of the 18 were told their jobs would disappear under a takeover by First Union bank, he said.
Even though the $15 million will be split 18 ways -- $831,000 each, or about $41,500 a year for 20 years -- it eases some of the worries about losing a job, Padron said yesterday.
"You know that at least your mortgage or whatever is taken care of," said Padron, a Miami resident. "That doesn't mean you can retire."
The Lotto winnings on Saturday came on the heels of a new job offer for Padron on Friday, he said.
"I had an excellent weekend this weekend," he said. "I think winning the Lotto is better."
The co-workers bought 50 tickets, something they only do when the jackpot gets very large, Padron said. They bought the winning quick-pick ticket in Miami, he said.
Six winning tickets were sold in Florida, each worth $14,963,333, said state Deputy Lottery Secretary Bernard Edwards.
Calls from four people who claimed to be winners indicated that all were part of pools, he said.
At Wellington Regional Medical Center, west of West Palm Beach, rumors spread that a pool of night-shift nurses had a winning ticket. But no one would confirm it, a hospital spokeswoman said.