San Joaquin County Poker Group Strikes it Rich with Winning Powerball Ticket

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STOCKTON --

Celebrations are in order for a San Joaquin County poker group, but it's not because of a lucky hand in the game.

Eleven men played the Powerball for the first time as a group and are now tens of thousands of dollars richer because of it.

The odds were against them, but the 11 poker buddies from San Joaquin County beat the odds.

"We won, I instantly went numb," said Powerball winner Phil Cullinen.

The numbers 16, 19, 32, 34 and 57 changed the lives of Cullinen and his friends.

Another exciting number is $779,264. That's how much the group won after matching five of six Powerball numbers on the January 9 drawing.

The lucky poker club bought $220 worth of tickets, including the winning ticket, from Parkwood Gas and Food on West Hammer Lane in Stockton. It's not the first time the gas station sold a lucky ticket. An $11 million check from a 2014 winning Super Lotto ticket hangs next to the $779,264 Powerball check.

Cashier Jenny Bellido was working the day the ticket was sold and said the ticket was just a quick pick, but that quick pick made each of the 11 men about $70,000 richer.

The poker club actually has 12 members but one chose not to enter the Powerball pool. Cullinen said there are no hard feelings and the club will continue as a group of 12.