Lucky Lottery Players From Manhattan, Yonkers Cash in on Lottery Scratch Offs

YONKERS, NY (11/19/2010)(readMedia)-- The New York Lottery's Gretchen Dizer today awarded a total of $2,000,000 in instant game cash prizes to two winners who claimed their jackpot prizes just days apart. The winners include a baker from Manhattan and a school district purchasing agent who won their respective $1,000,000 prizes on different Lottery scratch off games.

Manhattan Baker Rolling in Lottery Dough after hitting $1,000,000 Scratch Off Win

44-year-old Elvy Vega of Manhattan makes bread for a living at the D'Lillian Bakery in New York City. Now the father of three has some "dough" of his own after hitting the $1,000,000 top prize on the Lottery's new holiday-themed Sterling Silver instant game. Vega said he was so overcome with emotion he literally started shaking. "I scratched the ticket in the store and saw $1,000,000 and just couldn't believe it. I was shaking all over."

Vega stopped at Beltre Liquors on Broadway in Manhattan on Saturday, November 6th to pick up his weekly Lottery tickets. "I always stop there to buy my tickets and saw the new Sterling Silver ticket and knew I had to buy one. My sister's name is Sterling so it just made sense," he said. "I was so shocked that I won all I could think to do was cash it in as soon as possible. I went to Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway to claim it, but they said I would need to wait until Monday and take it to the Lottery Office in Manhattan. So I went straight home and put it in the safest place I could think of, the Bible. This truly is a blessing!"

Lottery players can claim most winning tickets at the 8 state-run casinos located throughout New York. Winning tickets totaling $1,000,000 or more however, must be claimed at a New York Lottery Customer Service Center.

Vega claimed his $1,000,000 ticket on Monday, November 8th at the Lottery's Customer Service Center on Beaver Street in Manhattan. As with most instant tickets, the top prize on the Sterling Silver scratch off game is paid as an annuity. Vega will receive his jackpot prize as $50,000 a year for 20 years. His annual net check will total $31,077. As for his plans for the money, Vega says he will buy a house and take care of his family. "This money is for them, not me," he said. "The children will get most of it, but my sister Sterling will get some too. After all, if it weren't for her I might not have bought the ticket in the first place."

The $5 Sterling Silver instant ticket went on sale on November 2nd and offers players a top prize of $1,000,000. The overall odds of winning a prize are 1 in 4.67.

Change in Strategy for Systematic Lottery Player Nets Him $1,000,000 Instant Ticket Win

55-year-old Michael McDonald of Yonkers has a specific strategy when he purchases his Lottery tickets. "I have a lucky store for every day of the week," said the purchasing agent for Scarsdale School District. On Monday, November 8th however, McDonald decided to change things up. "I decided to try a different store that particular Monday and boy did it pay off!" McDonald walked out of the Cornerstone Stationery on Farragut Street in Hasting-On-Hudson with a $1,000,000 winning $500,000 Extravaganza instant ticket.

"I normally stick to my routine and buy my tickets at specific stores on specific days. Something told me to try something new. In fact, I don't normally play the Extravaganza ticket. I chose the ticket on a whim as well," said the father of two. McDonald scratched the winning ticket while preparing dinner at home. "When I finished scratching I had to put on my glasses to make sure I was reading it right. I showed my wife and she grabbed the glasses out of my hands to look for herself. Needless to say we were both in a state of shock."

McDonald brought his ticket to Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway to claim his prize, and was told that it had to be claimed at an official Lottery Customer Service Center. On Tuesday, November 9th McDonald officially claimed his prize at the Lottery's Customer Service Center in Fishkill. As with most instant tickets, the $1,000,000 prize on the $500,000,000 Extravaganza scratch off game is paid as an annuity. McDonald will receive his prize as $50,000 a year for 20 years. He will receive a net check totaling $32,566 through 2029.

The loyal Lottery player says he has finally accomplished his goal. "I have finally won the million dollars I dreamed about. Now I can continue to just play for fun."

The New York Lottery continues to be North America's largest and most profitable Lottery, earning more than $39.3 billion in education support statewide since its founding over 40 years ago. The Lottery contributed nearly $2.67 billion in fiscal year 2009-2010 to help support education in New York State, which was over 12 percent of total state education funding to local school districts.

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.

# # #