July 25, 2013

More than $17,000,000 in Prizes Awarded to Nine New Lottery Millionaires from Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Manhattan

New York Lottery spokesperson Yolanda Vega and Lottery representative Jenny Garcia today introduced nine new Lottery winners hailing from the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan. The winners, consisting of draw game and scratch-off players, were presented with ceremonial oversized checks totaling $17,350,000.


Manhattan Woman Wins $1,000,000 Powerball Prize

Christine Monterosso of Manhattan won a $1,000,000 Powerball second prize from the March 16 drawing. Monterosso waited until June 28 to claim her prize at the New York City Customer Service Center because she wanted to seek legal and financial advice before claiming.


Monterosso bought a Powerball ticket at London Grocery on 10th Avenue in Manhattan because the jackpot was high.  She explained that she knew she did not match all five numbers plus the Powerball to win the jackpot and waited five days before she finally went to the store where she purchased her ticket to check if she had won a smaller prize.  Monterosso saw a poster on the door of the store that said they had a $1,000,000 winner, but never thought it was her.  The clerk in the store scanned her ticket and told her it was a big winner.


Monterosso immediately left the store and brought the ticket home where she signed it and hid it in a “very secure and secret place.”  She plans to use part of her $623,040 net check to go on vacation and then maybe invest the rest of her winnings. 


Elizabeth Taylor Inspires Million Dollar Lottery Win in Manhattan

Eric Swane, 80, of Manhattan won $1,000,000 on the Black Diamond Riches scratch-off game.


The retired carpenter bought his ticket at Shruni on West 14th Street in Manhattan on July 9 as part of his daily routine. “I buy a pack of cigarettes and a couple of tickets every morning,” he said. Swane scratched his ticket during his morning coffee get together with friends.  “I matched on the diamonds,” he said. “I put the ticket back in my pocket and didn’t tell anyone.”


Swane said he picked the Black Diamond Riches game for aesthetic reasons. “I liked the look of it. I thought about Liz Taylor and her white diamonds and figured Eric Swane should have black diamonds.”


Swane chose to receive his Lottery prize as a lump-sum, netting him $517,123 after required withholdings. Swane said he does not have set plans for the money, but might consider taking a vacation.


College Point Construction Worker Wins $1,000,000 on His Break

Thirty-five-year-old Oscar Antonio Reyes Flores of College Point, Queens won a $1,000,000 prize on the Black Diamond Riches scratch-off game.


Flores works seven days a week as a landscaper and construction worker around Queens and Long Island. He was working late July 6 breaking up cement when he took a break to get a drink at Ron’s Deli Grocery Store on Jamaica Avenue in Jamaica. He took the opportunity to pick up a scratch-off ticket as well.


Flores put the ticket aside until Saturday night when he had time to scratch it. “I wasn’t sure what to do with it because I never won that much before. I just put it away until I could bring it in,” he said through a Spanish interpreter. Flores claimed his winning ticket at the Lottery’s Garden City Customer Service Center on July 8. 


Flores chose to receive his prize as a lump-sum. He will receive a one-time payment totaling $517,123 after required withholdings.  Flores hopes to use the money to take a vacation and visit his family, “It’s been 16 years since I’ve seen my family in El Salvador,” he said, “I would like to do that.”


Flushing, Queens Taxi Driver Wins $1,000,000 Scratch-off Prize

Ali Bhatti Zulfiqar, 57, of Flushing, Queens won a $1,000,000 top prize on the Family Feud scratch-off game.  Zulfiqar, a taxi driver, plays the Lottery every day. On June 8, he stopped for gas at Central Auto on Roosevelt Avenue in Flushing and decided to buy one of the new Family Feud games.  


Zulfiqar said he knew right away that he had won the jackpot.  He remained calm and waited until he got done with work that day to tell his wife, son and brother.  Zulfiqar told them, “I hit the jackpot,” but none of them believed him until he showed them his winning ticket.


Zulfiqar said he considers himself a “very, very lucky person.”  He decided to take his prize as a lump sum, which will net him $517,123 after required withholdings. Zulfiqar has no plans for his winnings.


Richmond Hills Man Almost Threw Away his $1,000,000 Lottery Ticket

Mahendra Harripersaud of Richmond Hills, Queens claimed his $1,000,000 prize on the $5,000,000 Multiplier scratch-off game on Friday, June 21. Harripersaud bought his winning ticket at Zubair Mart on North Broadway in Hicksville when he stopped for gas on the way to work that same day.


“I always scratch the prizes first,” explained the medical billing company collections agent. “I almost threw this one away, but then decided to run it through the scanner and it said ‘big prize,’ so I showed it to the store clerk who told me it was a million dollar winner. That’s when I scratched the whole thing to find how I won.”


Harripersaud, 39, said he went to his car shaking and drove to work. He finished the day and arrived at the Lottery’s Garden City Customer Service Center just before closing to claim his prize.  Harripersaud will receive his prize as a lump sum totaling $623,040 after required withholdings. His plans for his prize include buying a house and a car.


Bronx Stay-at-Home Mom Wins $1,000,000 Lottery Prize

Thirty-seven-year-old Flora Pllumbaj of the Bronx won a $1,000,000 top prize on the 20X the Cash scratch-off game.


Pllumbaj went into Corner Convenience Candy on Middletown Road in the Bronx on July 2 to buy a cup of coffee and decided to buy a scratch-off ticket.  She explained that she tries different tickets and chose the 20X the Cash game randomly.  She scratched the ticket in the store and knew immediately she was a winner.  Pllumbaj said she was so excited that she started jumping up and down. 


Pllumbaj chose to receive her prize as a lump-sum. She will receive a one-time payment totaling $523,354 after required withholdings. Pllumbaj plans to use her Lottery prize to visit family in Albania and to take care of her three children.


Predictions Come True for Crown Heights Mega Millions Player

Sixty-year-old home health aide Yvonne Grant of Crown Heights, Brooklyn won a $1,000,000 prize from the June 25 Mega Millions drawing. Grant chose to play the Megaplier add-on which increased her Mega Millions second prize from $250,000 to $1,000,000.


Grant buys Mega Millions and Powerball tickets every week at Boston Rd. Pharmacy on Boston Road in the Bronx.  The day after the June 25 drawing, she saw the winning numbers in the paper and thought, “five numbers has to be worth something.” Once she confirmed that the ticket was worth $1,000,000, Grant said she started working with a lawyer to get her finances in order.


Grant said that almost 20 years ago she was stopped by a street vendor who offered to read her palm for $1. Grant didn’t have a dollar to spare at the time, but the woman read her palm anyway and told her she would come into a lot of money when she was older. Grant had a similar experience on her last day on the job at a Jewish organization where the Rabbi asked her to pray with him and her prayers would be answered. She said she prayed for good health and to win the Lottery.


Grant will receive her prize as a one-time lump sum totaling $611,800 after required withholdings. She has no plans for the money beyond taking care of her family which includes four children, twelve grandchildren and one great grandchild.


Longtime Lottery Player From Midwood Wins $5,000,000 Scratch-off Prize

James Geoghan of Midwood, Brooklyn won a $5,000,000 top prize on the Maximum Millions scratch-off game.


Geoghan, 53, recently moved to a new apartment. He said he purchased the ticket on June 27 during “a trip back to the old neighborhood” to get takeout from his favorite restaurant. While waiting for the food, Geoghan walked next door to Krish Card Shop on Avenue U to pick up a couple of tickets. He bought a Maximum Millions ticket and won $20 so he turned it in for another of the same. “I’ve been playing the lottery for 20 or 30 years,” he said. “I always go for the new tickets and this one had a $5,000,000 prize, always a nice plus.”


“I took it outside to scratch it. I brought it back in to show the clerk. We both agreed I had a match on the number 33 worth $5,000,000. The clerk kept saying ‘Oh my God, Oh my God’ and the only other guy in the store told me I better get an accountant.”


Geoghan will receive a one-time lump sum payment netting him $3,115,200 after required withholdings. He said he was unsure about his plans for the money, but may consider buying a house.


Bronx College Graduate Wins $5,350,000 Lotto Jackpot

Junior Julian Etwaroo of the Bronx was one of two winners that matched all six numbers for the June 29 Lotto drawing, earning him a $5,350,000 jackpot prize. The other winning ticket was sold in Webster, Monroe County.


Etwaroo, 22, has been playing the same random Lotto numbers for about a year. He said he always buys his Lotto tickets on Saturdays around lunch time at Discount Mart on Westchester Avenue in the Bronx. Etwaroo learned he was a winner the morning after the drawing. “I checked the numbers online. I had to check them five or six times before I believed it,” he said.


Etwaroo chose to receive his prize as a lump sum, netting him $2,121,402 after required withholdings. The recent Iona College graduate said he spent the last month trying to find a job, but is now planning to go back to Iona to get his masters.


There have been 37 Lottery millionaires throughout the five boroughs so far in 2013.


The New York Lottery contributed $1,200,599,252.62 in Lottery Aid To Education to school districts throughout the five boroughs during fiscal year 2012-2013.


About the New York Lottery

The New York Lottery continues to be North America’s largest and most profitable Lottery, contributing $3.04 billion in fiscal year 2012-2013 to help support education in New York State.  The Lottery’s contribution represents 15 percent of total state education aid to local school districts. 


New York Lottery revenue is distributed to local school districts by the same statutory formula used to distribute other state aid to education.  It takes into account both a school district’s size and its income level; larger, lower-income school districts receive proportionately larger shares of Lottery school funding.


About the New York State Gaming Commission

The New York State Gaming Commission regulates all aspects of gaming and gambling activity in the state, including horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering, class III Indian gaming, video lottery terminal facilities at race tracks, the state lottery and charitable gaming. 

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