Willie McPherson And Christopher Manzi Win Mega Millions Jackpot After Playing Together For 25 Years

10/06/2012 01:01 am ET

It took persistence, but 25 years of effort paid off big time for two old friends in New York.

Willie McPherson, 74, and Christopher Manzi, 44, won a $14 million jackpot last month playing the Mega Millions lottery, according to the New York Post. The two had been buying lottery tickets together for a quarter of a century after becoming friends while working at Manzi’s print shop in Manhattan.

Despite having spent a sizable amount of cash on their lottery habit over the years, neither McPherson nor Manzi shelled out a dime for the winning ticket. As part of a lottery promotion, they received two Quick Picks for free.

"We won $14 million on a free play ticket," McPherson told to the New York Daily News. "[It feels] beautiful."

The pair opted to take the prize in one lump sum, which, after taxes, comes out to about $3.5 million each. Media accounts indicated the two may celebrate in Miami.

Kyu's Coffee Shop, which gave McPherson the winning ticket, received $10,000 for its hand in the deal, NBC News reported.

Earlier this week, a group of Quaker Oats employees who had pooled their cash claimed a $10,004 Powerball prize. Astonishingly, the win came only a few months after another group of Quaker Oats workers won a $241 million Powerball jackpot.

PHOTO of McPherson and Manzi with their winnings:
new york lottery winners

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