Ten employees at the Sunset Restaurant ‘hit big’ last week in Franklin, after winning a quarter of a million dollars from the Mega Millions lottery drawing.
The group of coworkers had been playing once a week for four years, according to Sunset line cook Kenny Genawese, who had finally bought a winning ticket from the local Bi-Lo. The group played computer- picked numbers—10,11,12,28 and 43.
All ten employees received their check on Monday, and after splitting the $250,000 evenly among themselves, Genawese said that the winnings amounted to approximately $17,000, after taxes of course.
“If we had got one more ball, it would have been $127 million,” Genawese said, pointing out that the jackpot is still going, reaching $245 million as of Tuesday. He got the good news once he arrived at work last week by curb-waiter and food prep operator Jaime Henson.
“It was disbelief at first,” said Genawese. “I had to read the numbers over and over again, and I knew at that point that I hit the big one. It took a couple of days for it to really sink in.” Even though $17,000 sounds like a lot of money, Genawese said his share would simply go to paying the bills and making house repairs. “I’m not complaining—it’s a nice hit.”
Henson, who dropped the big money bomb on Genawese, said that winning the money felt “awesome,” and planned to put the money toward his children’s education and pay some bills. “We’re still going back to work after it all.”
Genawese said that the group of ten all played computerpicked numbers every week, and made a deal that they would split any winnings among themselves.
The other employees, still in shock over their new fortune, declined to comment or be photographed on the lottery win.
“We were excited for them,” said Bi-Lo store manager Lesa Jordan. “We’d never seen somebody win so much money.” Jordan noted that the Sunset’s winning ticket was the highest the store had ever sold.
The lucky winners are among 18 other winners throughout the U.S., and the only winners in North Carolina.