You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

U.S.

  • Full holiday menu for Obamas; 6 pies for dessert
    WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama spent a quiet Thanksgiving at the White House where the belly-stuffing menu featured all the holiday’s basics.
  • Immigrants Social Security eligible in Obama plan
    WASHINGTON (AP) — Many immigrants in the United States illegally who apply for work permits under President Barack Obama's new executive actions would be eligible for Social Security and Medicare benefits upon reaching retirement age,
  • Video: Cleveland officer shot boy within seconds
    CLEVELAND (AP) — The police officer who fatally shot a 12-year-old boy carrying a pellet gun fired within 1½ to 2 seconds of pulling up in his cruiser, police said Wednesday. During those few moments, he ordered the youngster three times to
Advertisement
Associated Press
New Jersey sisters, from left, Ingrid Jewusiak, Sigrid Endreson and Marie McHenry attend a news conference Thursday after winning a $20 million lottery jackpot.

A second-chance lottery

New Jersey family hit by Sandy wins $20 million jackpot

– A lottery-playing tradition started by the matriarch of a large New Jersey shore family paid off for her 17 children this week when the group won a $20 million jackpot that will partly be used to help family members recover from 2012’s Superstorm Sandy.

“I said to myself, ‘This couldn’t have come at a more perfect time,’ ” Faith Schiabor said, describing a call she received from her sister Sigrid Endreson, who held the winning ticket for the Pick 6 prize. “With Sandy, with the economy today, everybody’s really hurting.

“This is definitely going to help everyone; it’s going to help Ocean County because most of us live here,” she said.

At a news conference at a community center Thursday, jokes and jocularity mixed with some tears as the siblings described their struggle to recover from the widespread damage brought by Sandy to the Toms River area.

John Endreson, 69, became emotional when he described rebuilding his home after Sandy ripped through.

“The hardest part was seeing other people that were devastated,” he said. “I was able to redo my house and help my family and my brothers. I was quite fortunate. I just feel so lucky. And this is just the icing on the cake.”

Endreson added some levity when he poked fun at one of his brothers who had just given reporters a lesson in pronouncing his last name.

“I don’t care how you pronounce it, how you spell it, as long as I can cash the check,” Endreson said. (The name is pronounced EHN-dress-uhn.)

Sigrid Endreson said she bought the tickets and forgot about them for about two weeks before going down to a supermarket to check the numbers. When one came back with the message “See Cashier,” she ran it through again before taking it up to the window and getting the good news.

“I started to cry,” she said. “I called my sister to come get me. I didn’t think I was going to make it. I said, ‘I think I won the lottery.’ ”

The siblings’ father emigrated from Norway to New Jersey, where he met their mother, whose family owned a farm in East Brunswick. It was their mother, Flossie, who had played the lottery for years, a tradition continued by her children, who began pooling their money after her death about 10 years ago.

“We buy our own lottery tickets with our new families, the new generation, so to speak,” daughter Marie McHenry said. “So we’re not thinking of this family lottery except a few times a year when we pop in and say, ‘Here’s another $20 for the family lottery.’ We’re just thrilled we can help family members, help our churches. It’s a good thing at a good time.”

The family decided to take a lump-sum payment of $14 million, which is worth about $10 million after taxes. In addition to the 17 siblings, three children of one of the siblings whose father died recently will share in the winnings.

Advertisement