A selfless group of NICU nurses in Missouri whose office pool struck it lucky in the Mega Millions decided to club their winnings together and use it for the greater good.
Although the big winner was in South Carolina, the Show-Me State had five $10,000 winning tickets, one of them purchased by the group of 126 nurses at Mercy Children’s Hospital St. Louis.
“We never thought in a million years we would win anything at all and then we came one number away from winning $1.6 billion,” NICU nurse Stephanie Brinkman told KMOV4. “The majority said, ‘let’s give it to our co-workers, our family, the ones that are in biggest need’ so that’s what we decided to do.”
The alternative would’ve been splitting up $7,200, the amount after taxes, among 126 nurses, but instead of each getting $56 they decided to join together to make a bigger impact.
“When it comes to incredible nurses, we hit the jackpot!” Mercy tweeted out, announcing the decision to gift the winnings to two recipients dealing with heartbreaking situations: Nurse Gretchen Post and neonatologist Casey Orellana.
On the night the Mega Millions winner was announced, Post’s 17-year-old son Jack tragically committed suicide.
“It’s actually going to pay for Jack’s funeral which I’m very grateful for,” Post said.
As for their other colleague, Orellana’s husband, Phil, was recently diagnosed with sarcoma, forcing Casey to cut her hours in half at Mercy to help care for him and their two kids.
“When I got that phone call [about the lottery winnings], it was a day I was wondering how we were going to pay for certain medications, and it just touches your heart,” she said.