New Jersey

NJ Restaurant Workers Who Mistakenly Celebrated Powerball Double Down for $1.5 Billion Jackpot

After their epic letdown Saturday when they thought they'd won the $900 million Powerball jackpot, a group of New Jersey restaurant workers doubled down and bought even more tickets for the $1.5 billion Powerball drawing Wednesday night.

"It brought us a little closer together as a family, and now we're all pumped up for tonight," said Michael DeVinceni, general manager at Grissini's Restaurant in Englewood Cliffs. 

Video from the Grissini's Saturday shows servers, cooks and bartenders celebrating after reading off what they thought were the winning numbers with one of the 105 office pool tickets they bought for Saturday night's $900 million drawing. They cried tears of joy and shouted, and one even quit his job.

Unfortunately for them, they didn't realize they had read off the wrong day's winning numbers.

Charles Poveromo is the bartender who mistakenly read Wednesday's numbers on Saturday. He said a friend had called with the wrong numbers, relying on the Powerball website which had not been updated at that point. 

"You can imagine what everybody felt like," he said. "It was pretty sad, pretty tough."

"What made it a little easier of a pill to swallow was the fact that nobody won," he said. 

Valet driver Diego Moreno had purchased all the tickets, some of the numbers given to him and others chosen at random. He said he's not sure if someone possibly gave him Wednesday's numbers to play after the fact. 

He was so sure they'd won at first that he quit his job.

"I told them I'm gonna leave, I don't want to work anymore," he said. 

But on Wednesday night, they were all back at the restaurant with double the number of tickets from the last time -- more than 200 -- and watching the TV with extra sharp eyes and ears. 

And if they don't win again, well, "hopefully nobody else does, then we'll get another try," said DeVinceni. 

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