CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Happy hour came early for regulars at the Cold Spot in Charleston Thursday.

Thirty-two regulars and staff from the popular bar and restaurant along Washington Street West came forward Thursday morning to claim a $250,000 prize from last Friday’s Mega Millions drawing.

Calling themselves the “Cold Spot Crew” — something they had to decide on the fly Thursday morning so Lottery officials could write something on the oversized check — the group of friends from Kanawha County have now become the largest group of people to share a prize in state lottery history. The previous record was eight, Lottery officials said. “And they said they were surprised because every one of us seemed to like one another, too,” winner Teresa Withrow, 52, said. “We’re like one big family,” said Toni Meadows, 38.

At the head of that family is Dawn Miller, 41, of Dunbar, who has been a bartender at Cold Spot for 14 years. “I’m the ringleader of this hooligan crew,” Miller joked as the crew started gathering at the bar Thursday afternoon.        –DM