TINTON FALLS COUPLE CLAIM $70M PRIZE

The winners of last week’s $70 million Powerball pot are a married couple from Tinton Falls, the Star-Ledger and other news outlets report.

Joseph and Celeste Tamburello claimed the whopping prize at state lottery offices in Trenton Monday, nine days after Celeste bought the winning ticket at the Little Silver Family Pharmacy in Little Silver, the Asbury Park Press reports.

Today, on her fifteenth anniversary working at a food services company, Celeste plans to give her two-week’s notice, according to the reports.

The ticket – with the numbers 32, 43, 53, 55, 56 plus the Powerball number of 6 – was computer-generated, the Press reports.

From the Sledger:

Since they chose the whole pile of money at once, the Tinton Falls couple will take home $41.5 million before taxes.

“It’s unbelievable,” Celeste Tamburello, 41, said today. “I just never in a million years thought a $2 lottery ticket would turn into a $70 million Powerball ticket.”

The couple bought the “quick pick” ticket at Little Silver Family Pharmacy last Sunday. On Friday night, Joseph Tamburello’s sister called with news that the pharmacy had sold the winning ticket to Wednesday’s jackpot.

Joseph Tamburello ran and got the ticket, while his wife pulled up the winning numbers.

One by one she read the numbers aloud. Each time, her husband said, “Got it.”

Around the fourth number, she checked to see if he was joking. He wasn’t.

She read out the powerball number, which was 6.

“He jumps up, said ‘Oh my God it’s us,” she said. “We were just like screaming, the dogs were barking, my sister-in-law was crying.”

From the Press:

The Tamburellos are regular but modest lottery players, buying a single Mega Millions ticket and Powerball ticket nearly every week for more than eight years. They sometime buy scratch-off lottery games or visit the casinos; Joseph said the biggest thing he’d ever won before was between $2,200 and $2,500 on a 25-cent slot machine in Atlantic City.

“I don’t have much to say. It’s unbelievable,” he said.

One of the first things the couple plans to do with the money is buy Celeste a Cadillac. “I drive a 15-year-old Saturn, and I’m pretty sure I’m taking that creampuff in and I’m going to trade it in on an Escalade sometime in the very near future,” she said.

“See some parts of the world,” she added. “We haven’t really had the opportunity, because we’ve always worked full-time. We’ve never really had the opportunity to travel outside of the U.S. very much, and so I think we’d like to do a little travel, do a little kick back and relax. You don’t have to think too much about what’s to come.”

The couple married in 1999 and has no children, but they have a large extended family they intend to take on a nice vacation. “We’ve got family we don’t even know we have,” the suddenly wealthy Joseph joked.