Two Brothers from Onondaga County Claim $5,000,000 Lottery Scratch-Off Prize

SYRACUSE, NY (10/16/2012)(readMedia)-- The New York Lottery today announced Andy N. Ashkar, 34, of Camillus and his brother, Nayel N. Ashkar, 36, of Cicero, have claimed a $5,000,000 top prize in the $500,000,000 Extravaganza scratch-off game. The brothers claimed the prize on March 1, 2012 at the Lottery's Customer Service Center in Schenectady.

The winning ticket was purchased by Andy Ashkar at his family's Green Ale Market at 2208 East Fayette St. in Syracuse. Ashkar purchased the $5,000,000 winner in 2006 but delayed redeeming it until March of this year out of concern that the winning ticket could negatively influence his life if he did not plan properly before being publicly introduced. Most notably, Ashkar said he did not want the winning ticket to influence his engagement and subsequent marriage. The younger brother also said that during that time, he decided to share his winnings with his brother, Nayel, to show his appreciation for all that Nayel had done for him during his life.

As with all prizes of $1,000,000 or more, the New York Lottery requires players to attend a news conference to discuss the prize claim and participate in a check presentation. The New York Lottery has not yet determined a date for the news conference.

The New York Lottery contributed $101,319,966.04 in Lottery Aid To Education to school districts throughout Onondaga County during fiscal year 2011-12.

About the New York Lottery

The New York Lottery continues to be North America's largest and most profitable Lottery, contributing nearly $2.9 billion in fiscal year 2011-2012 to help support education in New York State. The Lottery's contribution represents nearly 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.