Powerball Winners Joseph and Celeste Tamburello had no clue that they were jackpot winners and $70 million richer, until Joseph and Celeste’s sister-in-law happened to mention during a telephone call, that the winning ticket had been bought in Little Silver.
Celeste Tamburello recalled, “I said, ‘oh my God, that’s where we bought our ticket on Sunday.” The winning numbers for the 21st March 2012 Powerball results draw were 32, 43, 53, 55, 56 with a Powerball of 6.
On Sunday 18th March 2012, Celeste Tamburello, age 41, went to the Little Silver Family Pharmacy, 10 Church Street in Monmouth Country, to get a prescription filled. While she was waiting she decided to play Powerball with a Quick Pick ticket for the 21st March 2012 draw. The phone call from the Tamburello’s sister-in-law telling them where the winning ticket had been bought, wasn’t until the following Friday.
The Powerball winners from New Jersey immediately went to check their Powerball lottery ticket. Celeste went online and read out the numbers one by one to Joseph. “I’d go through a number and he’d say, “Got it”. After Celeste had read out the fourth number and Joseph again said “Got it”, Celeste got up from the computer to check because she thought her husband was joking. He wasn’t!
Finally, Celeste read out the Powerball number and Joseph “jumped out of the recliner, he’s like, “Oh my God, it’s us!” Celeste Tamburello said “we were screaming, the dogs were barking, my sister-in-law was crying, and it’s just surreal. You still don’t even believe it right now.”
The Tamburello’s of Tinton Falls, checked and rechecked their ticket over the weekend and then went to claim their Powerball jackpot prize at the New Jersey Lottery headquarters on the Monday after the Powerball draw. They decided to take the cash payout which will be $41.5 million before taxes. Most winners tend to choose the lump sum option, with June 2012 winner of $60 million, Noel Peele being another example.
“Congratulations to these fortunate lottery players who purchased the winning ticket and to the retailer who sold it,” said the Lottery’s Executive Director Carole Hedinger. “For selling this $70 million ticket, the retailer has become another of the Lottery’s ‘lucky locations’ overnight.”
Joseph Tamburello, 53, told at the press conference that they had been regular lottery players for eight years and usually bought one New Jersey Powerball lottery ticket and one Mega Millions ticket each week. “We just buy one of each,” Joseph said. Celeste Temburello said “It’s unbelievable, I just never in a million years thought a $2 lottery ticket would turn into a $70 million Powerball ticket.”
Joseph and Celeste were married in 1999 and have no children but have a very large extended family. It is their plan to use some of their Powerball jackpot money to take their family on a long exotic holiday. Celeste Tamburello said they would “see some parts of the world. We haven’t really had the opportunity, because we’ve always worked full time. We’ve never really had the opportunity to travel outside the US very much, and, so I think we’d like to do a little travelling, also a little kick back and relax. You don’t have to think too much about what’s to come.” Joseph added that he plans “to take an amazing cruise vacation with my wife.”
Celeste Tamburello said, “I drive a 15 year old Saturn, and I’m pretty sure I’m taking that cream puff and gonna trade it in on a Escalade some time in the near future.”
The Tamburello’s said they sometimes buy scratch-off tickets and have a flutter in a casino. Joseph said the largest win they had had before their New Jersey Powerball lottery success was in Atlantic City, where they won $2,500 on a 25 cent slot machine.
The odds of winning the lottery are 175 million to one, but that hasn’t deterred the lucky Powerball winners from New Jersey who will continue to buy their weekly tickets. As Celeste said, “Why not? You can’t win it, if you’re not in it.”
You can check your own numbers to see if you have replicated the Tamburello’s sucess by using our Powerball results checker.
Celeste Tamburello has spent almost fifteen years working for the Compass Group, a food services company. She plans to give in her notice on Tuesday 27th March following the Powerball jackpot win, as that will be exactly fifteen years to the day since she started working for the Compass Group.
Joseph Temburello is self-employed and is a computer consultant. He joked that he was going to retrench himself, after he had found other consultants for his existing clients.
Roger Custer bagged $50 million in December 2012 and also said his win meant he could retire happily.