Ten New Jersey insurance company employees are currently on Cloud 9 after hitting the biggest jackpot of them all - the $216 million Mega Millions lottery main prize drawn in Atlanta earlier this week. One can only imagine the reactions of the ten members of a lottery syndicate when organiser Bob Space circulated each on an email that simply said "We won the big one!"

Space and nine colleagues regularly contribute $5 each to purchase 50 lottery tickets, and Monday night Space placed the order with a gas station near his home in Manchester.

The following Wednesday he stopped by the gas station and picked up a printout of the winning numbers to check later at work. At his desk later that morning he discovered that the big-winning ticket was one of those bought by the syndicate, and he immediately sent the joyful news to each by email.

Most of the other nine said they initially thought he was joking, but they're all now looking at a changed lifestyle and opportunities - so far the group has decided to take the win as a $140 million immediate cash prize rather than $216 phased over time. Each member will receive $14 million.

Tuesday's drawing was the second-largest jackpot in New Jersey history. The winning numbers were: 26, 32, 35, 43, 52 and the Mega Ball was 10.

On the subject of lotteries, William Hill's blogger and raconteur Rupert Adams published some interesting numbers this week, commenting that the odds of winning the EuroMillions Lottery are 76 000 000 - 1, with the odds of a single winning ticket scooping the jackpot just 2/1. Odds that the single winning ticket will be purchased in the UK are 12/1.

Adams noted: "The only things we [William Hill] might offer odds of 76 million to one about are the world ending on a specific date and perhaps Amy Winehouse starting at fly-half against France in the Six Nations rugby!"

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