New York Powerball Winners Step Forward to Claim $170.9 Million in Prizes

SCHENECTADY, NY (02/11/2011)(readMedia)-- New York Lottery Director Gordon Medenica and Lottery icon Yolanda Vega teamed up today to present $170.9 million in prizes to back-to-back Powerball winners from Wilton, Saratoga County and Purling, Greene County.

Wilton Husband and Wife Win $48.8M Powerball Jackpot from Christmas Day Drawing

The New York Lottery today introduced Jeffrey "Jeff" Pintuff and his wife, Christine "Chris" Pintuff of Wilton, Saratoga County as the winners of the December 25th, 2010 Powerball drawing for a jackpot of $48.8 million. The Pintuffs, both 58, spent more than a month interviewing financial planners before stepping forward on February 1st to claim their prize at the Lottery's Customer Service Center in Schenectady.

The winners, married 30 years, realized their good fortune after a hectic Christmas weekend. Jeff, now retired from his quality assurance job at Atlas Copco in Voorheesville, said he purchased the ticket a couple of days in advance of the drawing as the couple prepared to receive guests for the long holiday weekend. "I left work early on December 23rd so I could help with the cooking and cleaning before our guests came," he said. On the way home, Pintuff stopped at the Stewart's Shop on Route 50 in Wilton and purchased the $1 Quick Pick ticket for the December 25th Powerball drawing for $48.8 million. "I put the ticket on the fridge under a magnet like I always do," he said. "And never gave it a second thought until the morning after the drawing."

On Monday, December 27th, Jeff checked the ticket online and told his wife, "We won the Powerball!" "How many numbers did we get?" she asked in reply. Pintuff said he repeated himself numerous times before either could believe their good fortune. The couple then signed the ticket and took it to their safe deposit box until they were ready to claim.

The winning numbers for the December 25th Powerball drawing were 1 17 38 50 52 and Powerball 24.

Chris Pintuff retired from her nursing position at Saratoga Hospital just days before claiming the prize. "It was scary," she said. "I've been there for 30 years." Pintuff said the only thing she found to be more difficult than leaving her job was keeping her secret from her friends and co-workers. "It was hard to keep such a big secret, but we just weren't ready to tell anyone."

The Pintuffs opted to receive their prize as a lump sum with each receiving a 50 percent share of the prize. Each will receive a one-time payment totaling more than $12.4 million or $8.2 million after taxes. "I worry about what to do with 500 bucks," said Jeff Pintuff upon learning of his share of the prize. "I'm so glad we had a plan for the money."

The Pintuffs said their plans for the money are modest. "My children keep telling me I need a new car," he said. "I only have 163,000 miles on the one I have now. I think I can get it to 200,000." Chris Pintuff said she was thinking about getting away. "We haven't been away from home for more than three days since 1996," she said. "We need a vacation."

Retired NYC Firefighter Now Living in Purling, Greene County Wins $122M Powerball Prize

"I'm not overly lucky," said retired FDNY firefighter Stephen Kirwan of Purling, Greene County as he sat in the Lottery's Fishkill Customer Service Center claiming his $122.1 million Powerball prize. "My own house was damaged by fire last year," he continued. "I guess I got a lifetime of luck all at once."

Kirwan's fortune started to change on January 22nd with a stop at the Clothespin Laundromat on Route 9W in Catskill where he purchased five sets of numbers for that evening's Powerball drawing. The long-time Lottery player said the laundromat is one of several locations around Catskill where he likes to buy his tickets. "I picked my own numbers," he said. "They don't mean anything. They're just random numbers that I picked." Kirwan said he woke the next morning to some startling news. "I sat at the kitchen table on Sunday morning and checked my numbers in the paper as usual," he said. "I checked those numbers three times before I finally turned to my wife and said, 'I think I won.'"

The winning numbers drawn for the January 22nd Powerball drawing were 30 31 34 45 51 and Powerball 23.

Kirwan, 68, is a twice retired. He is a 24-year veteran of the FDNY where he served on board Truck #31 in the South Bronx. He moved to Greene County in 1985 and started his second career at skin care product maker Stiefel Laboratories in Oak Hill. He retired from Stiefel after 25 years on the job.

"It still hasn't sunk in" Kirwan said of his jackpot win. The new Powerball winner said he has no definite plans for his millions other than treating his wife and two children to a cruise.

Kirwan claimed his winning Powerball ticket on February 7th and decided to take his jackpot prize as a lump sum. He will receive a one-time payment totaling more than $61.2 million or $40.4 million after taxes.

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.