Bell Helicopter employees win $28 million lottery prize

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by CRAIG CIVALE

WFAA

Posted on May 14, 2012 at 10:04 PM

Poll:
How much would you have to win to quit your job?

FORT WORTH — A $5 weekly investment in a lottery office pool has paid off for a group of Bell Helicopter employees.

The group of seven men and three women learned they won the $28 million jackpot Sunday morning.

The winning Lotto Texas numbers were 13-36-38-45-46-49.

"When I saw that we had all six numbers, I just lost it... man, I lost it!" Mario Mercado said.

Mercado told News 8 he purchased the ticket Thursday at the Crossroads Shell Station on Western Center Boulevard in Fort Worth. He said each of the investors in the office pool will take home approximately $1.6 million after taxes.

Mercado is a dispatcher at Bell Helicopter in Roanoke, and so are a majority of his co-workers who won.

The group called in sick Monday and went down to Austin to claim their prize.

"We all work in the same department; it wasn't a good day for them," Mercado said. "They practically shut down the place."

The 51-year-old hasn't decided if he will quit his job, but he said his wife told her company she will stop working.

The winners celebrated together on Mother's Day at Billy Miner's Saloon in Fort Worth.

"From the get-go they were real giddy," said owner Dante Martinez. "The more people came, the words they were saying is, 'Can you believe it? Can you believe it? Can you believe it?"

Mercado said the group of friends have known each other for years, and they are not expecting any problems claiming the prize.

E-mail ccivale@wfaa.com

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