Winners of a 1987 $1 million-plus Pennsylvania lottery jackpot are older and perhaps wiser -- but not much richer.
Many of the 17 employees from the former Herman Avenue Elementary School in Lemoyne who split the Super 7 jackpot reunited Sunday before they received their final check on Monday, the Patriot-News reported. It wasn't much of a check -- $2,783.57. Come to think of it, it wasn't much of a total windfall either.
Despite dreams of wealth, the so-called Herman Avenue Super 7teen soon learned that even in 1987, a million bucks wasn't what it used to be. Divided 17 ways and distributed over 25 years, the annual $59,150.97 group payment was slashed by taxes to $47,320.78, the newspaper wrote. That meant each winner got $2,783.57 annually.
"We didn't become millionaires," Larry Foose said. "But this money has been a nice little bonus each year."
The group's gratitude provided a nice cherry-topper to some good lottery news lately. A homeless man in Greenville, S.C., claimed a $200,000 scratch-off prize on Oct. 19, Greenville Online reported. And that happened just a day after a report emerged of a Massachusetts man who won a $30.5 million Mega Millions jackpot after being dumped by his girlfriend, reported the Associated Press.
In yet another feel-good story last week, a Syracuse, N.Y., man claimed a $5 million prize for him and his brother six years after he bought the ticket. The reason for the delayed gratification? He worried that the money would have a negative influence on his life.
The amount shared by the Herman Avenue Super 7teen wasn't nearly as high. But they dreamed big after Frank Diehl, the janitor who has since died, bought the tickets off numbers chosen by Connie Connolly, and discovered that they had won on Oct. 21, 1987, the Patriot-News said. They gathered in the school cafeteria the next morning to celebrate their good fortune.
Ronald Shuey envisioned buying a black Jaguar, the newspaper noted. Sheri Charney was ready to house shop.
Then reality hit. They would have to share over the long term, and Uncle Sam would get his share, too.
Fast forward 25 years. Charney has used her money for Christmas shopping. Foose bought a piano.
"Everyone thought we were going to be millionaires," Rebecca Hedden told the Patriot-News. "We weren't. Nobody quit their jobs. But every October, we got our checks."