UPDATED: Tinton Falls Couple Wins $70 Million Powerball [VIDEO]
Cha-ching! The couple took a lump sum pay-out of $41.5 million.
Joseph and Celeste Tamburello of Tinton Falls are the holders of the March 21 NJ Powerball winning ticket purchased at the Little Silver Family Pharmacy.
"Unbelieveable," Celeste said of the $70 million jackpot she and her husband of 13 years claimed on Monday. "I just never in a million years thought that a $2 lottery ticket could turn into a $70 million Powerball ticket. That's for sure."
Celeste, 41, said that she could still picture herself getting out of the car at the Little Silver Family Pharmacy where she said she just happened to stop to get a prescription filled on Sunday, March 18.
"I just figured I was there, I should do my regular weekly thing," she said of the couple's habit of buying a few lottery tickets each week for the last eight or nine years.
The couple, who appeared at a press conference on Monday at the NJ Lottery offices in Trenton, said they decided to take the lump sum payment of $41.5 million. Celeste said she plans to trade in her 15-year-old Saturn for a new car "in the very near future."
"My wife wants a Cadillac," said Joseph, 53, who is self-employed as a computer consultant.
Although the couple does not have children, Celeste said that they have a big family and one of the first things they'll do with the money is take them all on vacation outside of the country.
"We haven't really had the opportunity (to travel)," said Celeste. "We've always worked full time."
The pair didn't even know about the win until Joseph's sister told them on Friday night that the winning ticket had been purchased at the Little Silver Family Pharmacy. As Celeste began reading off the ticket numbers to Joseph, she said they could hardly believe it when they got to the end and realized they had won. Then, of course, they began freaking out. (Watch the attached video to get the full story).
Joseph promptly put the ticket in a lock box and sat on it all weekend, said a NJ Lottery spokesperson. The Tamburellos went to Trenton today, unannounced, to claim their ticket. The couple should receive their money in a couple of weeks.
Celeste said she will mark her 15-year anniversary working for Compass Food Services on Tuesday by handing in her two-week notice.
She said, "We'll do a little kick back and relax and not worry much about what's to come."
Celeste also said that she and Joseph plan to purchase tickets to Tuesday night's Megamillions drawing whose jackpot was raised on Monday to $363 million.
"You've got to be in it to win it," she said.