"We are a county family. The last 24 hours have been amazing. I couldn't be happier," Pine said, standing in the parking lot of a county building in Toms River shortly after 8 a.m. "I have a great staff. We worked together through snowstorms, Sandy, together as a family."
No one expected his employees to win, Pine said, praising their work ethic for continuing to show up to work.
"They knew they won the lottery, and they were here yesterday. They came to work," Pine said. "That tells you a little bit about what kind of people they are."
Without revealing many details, Pine described his staffers as hard-working and deserving employees who had in some cases gone through hardships during and after Sandy.
More would be clear when the workers are publicly identified, he said.
For now, they are getting their affairs in order, he said: "For us working people to be given this much money, and the things that come along with it, they need time."
Each of the jackpot-winning tickets is worth $149.46 million, before taxes, in 30 annual payments, or slightly more than $86 million in a lump-sum cash option, the state lottery said.
After $21.5 million in federal taxes and $2.6 million in state taxes, the one-time cash option is worth $61,959,135, the lottery said.
That's about $3.87 million when split evenly 16 ways. The workers have not indicated how the money will be split, or whether they will choose annual payments or a lump sum.
A spokeswoman for the New Jersey Lottery, part of the Multi-State Lottery Association, the coalition administering Powerball, cautioned against premature celebration.
"Unless a ticket is actually validated in terms of the lottery, a winner has not come forward," said MaryAnn Rivell. "Unless we actually see the ticket and get it validated, we can't say that they are definitely winners."
The lottery system could definitely say that a jackpot ticket was sold at an Acme Market in Little Egg Harbor, Rivell said.
The same store also sold one of 18 third-prize tickets in the state, worth $10,000. A worker who answered the phone Friday said the store had no comment.
The supermarket's director, Phil Weber, said Thursday the store would donate $10,000 in gift cards to local charities. Retailers that sell jackpot-winning tickets receive a bonus commission of $30,000.
The last time two winners came from the same state - sort of - was on Dec. 22, 1993, in Washington, D.C.
A second winning ticket in Wednesday's drawing was sold in a Stop & Shop store in South Brunswick.
The holder of that ticket had not stepped forward by Friday evening. The third ticket was sold in Minnesota.
Waiting to get affairs in order before claiming a lottery ticket is not unusual, Rivell said.
"They'll wait weeks before they do it," Rivell said. In fact, state lottery executive director Carole Hedinger recommends it: "She'll encourage them to get good financial advice before they do it . . . speak with good financial advisers, speak with attorneys," Rivell said
"You have a big estate," she added.
The Minnesota winner identified himself Thursday, saying at a news conference that he had often daydreamed about how he would spend his winnings.
"I've totally been waiting for this day my entire life," said Paul White, 45, a project engineer from Ham Lake. He said he would take a lump-sum payment.
New Jersey has seen "an unprecedented year," Hedinger said in a news release.
Four jackpot prizes have been claimed in the state since January, not counting this week's wins.
In the 2013 fiscal year, which ended June 30, Powerball has created 34 millionaires in the state, the state lottery said. Two months into the 2013-14 year, Powerball has created three New Jersey millionaires in addition to the new ticketholders, the state lottery said.
Contact Jonathan Lai at 856-779-3220, firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @elaijuh.
Tom Kelly III contributed to this article, which also contains information from the Associated Press.