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Lottery Winners Cash In on 587

November 14, 2001|Reuters

TRENTON, N.J. — The New Jersey Lottery will pay out more than $1 million to thousands of lottery winners who bet on the flight number of the jetliner that crashed in New York, lottery officials said Tuesday.

American Airlines Flight 587 plunged into a quiet Queens neighborhood Monday morning, killing all 260 people aboard the Airbus A300.

Hours later, not only did "587" turn out to be the winning number in the New Jersey Lottery's Pick-3 game, but players wound up buying a whopping 27,829 winning tickets. They each won $16, and the money won by other types of tickets that also contained the flight number pushed the total payout to more than $1 million.

Virginia Haines, executive director of the New Jersey Lottery, said numbers involved in disasters are often ready fodder for lottery players in search of a winner.

"It's sad to say," Haines said.

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