‘Mountaineer 26’ lottery pool winners collect $1 million check

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Several Morgantown-area residents calling themselves the Mountaineer 26 collected their lottery winnings in Charleston at the WV Lottery Headquarters Friday afternoon.

One of the pool members, Sheila Anderson, purchased a winning Mega Millions ticket for $1 million at the Bell’s 119 Grocery on Grafton Road in Morgantown. Each person in the group will win $26,000.

“We’ve been playing a long time, and we were determined we were going to win one day,” Anderson said. “Took 20-something years but we did. I just thank them all for sticking here with me playing.”

The store’s owner, David White with Belko Foods, said he was as happy for the group as if he himself had won.

“It’s great for the community. You’ve got a lot of people that might be able to take a vacation now that’s never taken one, might be able to pay of their house, might be able to send their kid to college, who knows? It’s pretty cool.”

The group started off working in the same office but since has gone their separate ways. Playing the lottery has kept them together.

“Sheila has been kind of the glue that has held the group together,” said John Feteke, one of the 26 winners.

Anderson said she didn’t have many big plans for the money. She just wanted curtains and paint for the front door, but she did buy her mother a present.

“I did buy my mom a purse. She wanted a Mickey-Minnie Mouse purse. I bought her that, other than that no plans.”

Anderson said the group had many different methods of trying to pick winning numbers, but her winning ticket came from numbers on a fortune cookie.

Fifteen members of the pool was on hand for Friday’s news conference in Charleston. The store will receive a selling bonus of $10,000 for selling the $1 Million ticket.

The group said they plan to continue playing.

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