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$22,000 lottery pool members win just $1,536, but have no regrets

Ryan McGuinness, 35, buys 10,000 lottery tickets for his lottery club at Ybor Metro Market on Tuesday. [TAILYR IRVINE | Times]
Ryan McGuinness, 35, buys 10,000 lottery tickets for his lottery club at Ybor Metro Market on Tuesday. [TAILYR IRVINE | Times]
Published Oct. 24, 2018

Ryan McGuinness may not have won the $1.6 billion Mega Millions jackpot for his lottery pool on Tuesday night, but they didn't come away empty-handed either.

In all, they pocketed $1,536.

Of course, that must be split among nearly 90 friends.

And they spent $22,000 Tuesday on 11,000 tickets to win it.

Overall, they dropped $52,000 on tickets and rolled over $1,224 in winnings since the pot hit $500 million.

Still, they are not disappointed. Like nearly all lottery players, they are accustomed to losing out on the big bucks.

This was their fifth time buying tickets as a lottery pool since January 2016 and they have never won more than a few grand.

"It is all entertainment," said McGuinness, 35. "We all realize the odds are extremely unlikable. We just have fun."

Their lottery pool had a minimum $250 buy in. Players who kicked in extra dollars would have received a higher return.

No one is collecting their portion of the $1,536, though.

Instead, they rolled the money over into Thursday night's Powerball that, as of Wednesday afternoon, had a pot of $620 million. And the pool has agreed that if they win less than $1 million, they will roll it over yet again.

For now, at least, they don't have any plans for another major buy in.

"We'll let things simmer down," McGuinness said.

Among their biggest fans is Osama Samhoury, who owns the Metro Market in Ybor City, where they buy the tickets in bulk.

"If they win, I win," Samhoury said, which is why he had no issue spending three hours running their tickets through his store's lottery machine to check for winners. "If they hit that jackpot, my store would have gotten at least a $1 million commission" from the Florida Lottery.

It was McGuinness' 25-year-old brother James Chandler who dropped off the old tickets and purchased the new ones.

That's because McGuinness flew to Boston on Wednesday morning to catch a World Series game.

The pool leader skipping town after collecting their $22,000?

"Anyone who knows me knows I would never do that," McGuinness said with a laugh. "I can be trusted."

Contact Paul Guzzo at pguzzo@tampabay.com. Follow @PGuzzoTimes.

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