Electric Boat employees collect Powerball winnings

Jennifer McDermott/The Day H.J. Williams, a supplier quality analyst at Electric Boat, kisses quality control specialist Mark Byington on the head as EB employees receive checks from the Connecticut Lottery Wednesday and celebrate in their office parking lot. Byington bought the tickets on behalf of the group.

Groton — The Electric Boat employees who are sharing a $1 million Powerball jackpot say the checks they received Wednesday will not be enough for an early retirement, but they do plan to pay bills and splurge a little.

Peggy Jensen, a senior technician, said she has been waiting for years to ditch her old kitchen appliances, and she can finally afford to remodel. Richard Slack, the manager of supplier quality, said the vacation he had planned to Disney World will now be a little nicer, and Gary Cabral, a principal engineer, said he may upgrade his golf gear.

A group of 23 EB employees from the supplier quality department, who are now known as the "Lucky 23," pooled their money last month to purchase 23 Powerball tickets. They each received a check for $29,695.26 on Wednesday from Anne M. Noble, president and CEO of the Connecticut Lottery. Noble visited the EB office on Long Hill Road.

Most of the winners were there, including Cabral, who retired Aug. 30. He said he was already planning to retire but felt lucky he didn't do so before the group entered the lottery.

"It's not a game-changer, but it is a nice retirement bonus," Cabral said.

Others said they planned to donate to charity, replenish their savings accounts and improve their homes.

The winning numbers were 5-25-30-58–59, with the Powerball number of 32. The winning ticket was purchased at the Gas Mart on Poquonnock Road. It matched the first five numbers but not the critical Powerball number on Aug. 7.

After the checks were passed out, several winners took out their wallets and gave $3 each to a co-worker. They had decided at lunch to enter Powerball together again.

"We're going to prove that theory wrong," said H.J. Williams, a supplier quality analyst.

Lightning does strike twice, added Ken Levine, a quality inspector.

j.mcdermott@theday.com

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