Jan. 24, 2014 – Sometime between Dec. 13 and Thursday, a company called 12 Checks Short, LLC, opened a bank account with the Syracuse Fire Department Federal Credit Union.
Sometime in the next week, $661,800 will be wired into the account, and the company will be dismantled in the weeks following that deposit.
Far from a shady shell company, though, this is the path that a $1 million Mega Millions prize will have to take to be divided between the 22 Syracuse city workers who won the second prize on the Dec. 13 drawing.
According to a story by Syracuse.com’s Tim Knauss, the New York Lottery can only split Lottery prizes 10 ways, “12 Checks Short” of the number needed to get everyone in the winning group their share.
That 10-check limit is why Ray Wills, the leader of the Mega Millions pool and an engineering technician, had to create the company with the help of a lawyer.
The group of 22 collected their $1 million prize from the New York Lottery Thursday. After taxes, the group will split the $661,800 deposited into 12 Checks Short’s bank account, each receiving about $30,000.
During a press conference Thursday, the group said they only buy tickets when the jackpot climbs to incredible heights.
Each member of the group pitched in $5 for the Dec 13 drawing, some even throwing an extra $5 for group members who weren’t at work that day.
The night they matched five out of six numbers drawn, the Mega Millions jackpot was worth $425 million, and would keep growing to $648 million before it was split by winners in California and Georgia.
While they didn’t win the jackpot that night, the $110 the group spent won them more than 9,000 times that investment, and each of their $5 turned into 6,000 times that in their pockets.