No Blarney: Luck O' the Lottery Pays $7,000,000 to Five from Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island & Long Island

NEW YORK, NY (03/16/2010)(readMedia)--

The New York Lottery today awarded $7,000,000 in Lottery cash prizes to five recent winners from New York City and Long Island. Lottery drawing emcee (and Irish dancer) Gretchen Dizer awarded each winner with a customized version of the Lottery's traditional over-sized prize check at a pre-St. Patrick's Day celebration held today at the Blarney Stone in Midtown. Winners who received prize checks include a store owner from Flatbush, Brooklyn; an electrician from Astoria, Queens; a special education teaching assistant from Bayside, Queens; a teacher's aide from Annadale, Staten Island; and an office manager from Yaphank, Suffolk County.

Flatbush retailer sees customers having fun, winning; buys himself a $3,000,000 Money winner

Yemen-born Abdo Ashariki has owned the Cortelyou Deli & Grocery on Cortelyou Rd. in Brooklyn for three years. The father of 10 children who range in age from 4 to 39 said he liked to watch his customers scratch and win prizes on the New York Lottery tickets he sold to them. "But why," he asked, "should they have all the fun?" That's why Ashariki said he usually bought one or two tickets for himself each day, a habit that paid off handsomely on February 20, 2010 when Ashariki purchased a $10 Money ticket that turned out to be a $3,000,000 winner.

Ashariki said he never dreamed of winning a jackpot prize and is still having trouble deciding what to do with his $3,000,000 windfall. "I have not slept in 72 hours," he said on February 22, 2010 when claiming his winning ticket at the Lottery's Customer Service Center in Manhattan. "My future is up in the air. This is a very exciting and unpredictable time for me and my family."

Ashariki said he did plan to continue working. As for any immediate plans for the money, the former merchant marine said he could now start looking for a new home for his large family. "I would really like to buy two homes – one here and one in Yemen so that I can visit my family there more often."

As with most instant games, the top prize on the Money ticket is paid in 20 annual installments. Ashariki will receive his $3,000,000 prize as 20 annual payments of $150,000 each before taxes. His annual net check will total $93,573.

Astoria electrician takes time out from playing hoops to win $1,000,000 on Win For Life ticket

What's better than getting together with friends for a quick game of basketball? How about winning $1,000,000 on a Lottery ticket you bought on the way to the game! That's what happened to 44-year-old Joseph Arcos of Astoria, Queens. The single father said he budgets $5 a week to play his favorite Win $1,000 A Week For Life Lottery game because he likes the idea of having a little extra money in the bank.

"I always buy this ticket," said the Local 3 member. "It's like a little extra icing on the cake…for life!"

Arcos bought his lucky Win $1,000 A Week For Life ticket on February 15th at the Astoria Liquor store on 37th Street in Astoria, near the courts where he plays basketball with friends. "Yeah, they know me there," he said. "I'm a regular."

Arcos said he wasn't in a hurry to turn in his lucky ticket and waited until February 24, 2010 to claim his $1,000,000 prize. "I just didn't get around to it," said the patient millionaire. "Plus, it took a while to sink in. I really didn't believe it at first."

Arcos is guaranteed to receive at least $1,000,000. He will receive a minimum of 19 annual payments of $52,000 (net $32,439) each and a 20th payment of $12,000 (net $7,486). Once he has realized his $1,000,000 minimum prize, Arcos will continue to receive an annual net check totaling $32,439 for life.

Annadale teacher's aide gets wrapped up in excitement, puts $1,000,000-winning Extravaganza ticket away with Christmas paper

New York City Department of Education employee Judy Comitini likes to give Lottery tickets as Christmas gifts. The 52-year-old Comitini buys a quantity of her favorite instant ticket, the $500,000,000 Extravaganza, then divvies up the tickets to give to family and friends and wraps them inside a tie box to hand out at holiday parties and family get-togethers. It's a holiday tradition dating back as far as Comitini can remember, including last Christmas when Comitini opened her holiday wrapping supplies to discover a relic from 2008.

"I found two ($500,000,000 Extravaganza) tickets that I bought in 2008 mixed in with the wrapping paper from that year," she said. "I put them in my purse to scratch later on. The next morning I bought a couple more tickets on my way to work and lost track of which was which. I guess it didn't matter, I still won $1,000,000! Merry Christmas to me!"

Comitini claimed her $1,000,000 prize on January 14, 2010 at the Lottery's offices in Manhattan. She will receive her prize in 20 annual payments of $50,000 each. She will continue to receive an annual net check totaling $31,191 through 2029.

When asked about plans for her money, Comitini said she was looking forward to a long and comfortable retirement in the years to come.

Bayside special educator asks husband to "go out and win the Lottery"…and he does with $2 Win $1,000 A Week For Life ticket!

Bayside Special Education Teaching Assistant Cora Gibney-Montes, 43, was joking with her husband, Roland Montes, on the morning of January 5, 2010, when she asked him to "go out and win the Lottery today." So, Montes, 45, a mechanic working the overnight shift for the NYC Department of Transportation, obliged, purchasing a jackpot-winning Win $1,000 A Week For Life instant ticket at the convenience store located across the street from work. The $2 Win For Life ticket guarantees the parents of two young children a top prize worth at least $1,000,000.

"I bought the (Win $1,000 A Week For Life) ticket because it has a nice ring to it," he said. Montes worked his shift and remembered to scratch his tickets the next morning before going to sleep. "I called (Cora) at her work and screamed as loud as I could – We won the Lottery!"

Montes gave the ticket to his wife to claim because it was her idea to play the Lottery that day. "The whole thing is surreal," she said. "It's like getting a new lease on life."

Montes echoed his wife sentiments, adding, "It's a breath of fresh air. We don't have to worry about college for the kids. It just makes everything easier."

Montes purchased the couple's winning ticket at the C & G Vigorus Trading store on Bell Boulevard in Bayside. Gibney-Montes claimed the couple's winning ticket on January 8, 2010 at the Lottery's offices in Garden City. She will receive a minimum of 19 annual payments of $52,000 each (net $32,439) and a 20th payment of $12,000 (net $7,486) to realize the guaranteed minimum payout of $1,000,000. Once she has received the guaranteed $1,000,000, Gibney-Montes will continue to receive an annual net check totaling $32,439 for life.

Yaphank office manager buys Harley ticket to win a bike for beau; "Hogs" $1,000,000 cash prize for herself

Thirty-nine-year-old Kristi Spillett of Yaphank, Suffolk County, bought one of the Lottery's new Harley Davidson scratch off tickets for a chance to win one of the 10 "Fat Boy" motorcycle merchandise prizes available on the ticket. The working mother of two ended up winning one of the four $1,000,000 cash prizes instead.

"My boyfriend and I have been trying to win that bike for him," she said, "The cash was a nice surprise." Spillett said she used a $10 cash prize she won on a different Harley Davison ticket to purchase two more of the same. "I scratched them in my car, realized I won and drove off in a hurry to tell him the news."

Spillett bought her $1,000,000 winner on March 1, 2010 at the Mill Road Convenience Store on Mill Rd. in Yaphank. She claimed it on March 4th at the Lottery's office in Garden City.

Spillett said she will probably use a portion of her prize to help her two teen-age daughters purchase their first vehicles, but there's nothing in her budget right now for a motorcycle. "Saving for college takes priority," she said.

Spillett will receive her $1,000,000 prize as $50,000 a year for 20 years. She will receive a net check totaling $33,015 a year through 2029.

The Lottery's Harley Davidson ticket went on sale February 2, 2010. The ticket offers players a chance to win cash prizes ranging from $5 up to $1,000,000 or one of 10 "Fat Boy" Harley Davidson motorcycles. A related on-line second chance drawing allows players with non-winning tickets to enter a special sweepstakes for five more chances to win a "Fat Boy" Harley Davidson and other merchandise prizes. More information on the second chance sweepstakes is available at

The New York Lottery continues to be North America's largest and most profitable Lottery, earning more than $36.7 billion in education support statewide since its founding over 40 years ago. The Lottery contributed nearly $2.54 billion in fiscal year 2008-09 to help support education in New York State, which was over 12 percent of total state education funding to local school districts. The Lottery's ongoing commitment to education also includes the awarding of more than 1,100 Leaders of Tomorrow (LOT) Scholarships annually to high school students pursuing their higher education in New York State. Since 1999, the Lottery has awarded more than 11,500 scholarships representing a total commitment of almost $50 million.