Two of Capital Region's Newest Residents Are Lottery Millionaires

SCHENECTADY, NY (11/05/2009)(readMedia)-- New York Lottery Drawing Emcee Gretchen Dizer today welcomed two of the Capital Region's newest residents with $6,000,000 in cash prizes won on two different Lottery instant games. The new Lottery millionaires join a growing list of Capital area Lottery players who have won or shared a prize valued at $1,000,000 or more in 2009.

Need for Newspaper Nets Albany Newcomer $5,000,000 Set For Life Prize

Worrying about the bills is "a thing of the past" for 43-year-old Molly Sherwin of Albany. Sherwin won the top prize on the Lottery's Set For Life instant game, which guarantees winners a minimum prize of $5,000,000. The youngest of 13 children said the celebration began as the news spread across the family.

"Of course I threw a big party for my family," said Sherwin, a district employee for Stewart's Shops. "I never thought it would happen to me. I don't think anyone did."

Sherwin recently moved to the Capital Region from Malone, Franklin County, to be closer to family. Her plans for the money reflect her close ties to those close to her.

"I'm used to working 60 to 70 hours a week; traveling most of the time," she said. "Now maybe I can cut back my hours and spend more time with family."

Sherwin admits she was an avid Lottery player for years, even before she bought her new home in Albany. "It's fun," she said. "And the prizes aren't bad either."

Sherwin purchased her $5,000,000 winning Set For Life ticket on October 24, 2009 at the Latham Circle Mobil on Troy-Schenectady Road in Latham. She claimed it on October 26th at the Lottery's offices in Schenectady.

As a top-prize winner on the Set For Life ticket, Sherwin is guaranteed to receive a minimum prize of $5,000,000. Sherwin will receive 19 annual payments of $260,000 before taxes, netting her $171,678 annually through 2028. She will also receive one additional payment of $60,000 (net $39,618) in the 20th year to realize her guaranteed minimum prize of $5,000,000. After the 20th anniversary payment, Sherwin will continue to receive a net check totaling $171,678 a year, for life.

So, what does Sherwin plan to do with her new millions? "I'm just getting settled in to my new home here in Albany" she said. "I'm sure I'll find plenty to do with it."

Search for Green Onion Leads to $1,000,000 New York Poker Prize

Twenty-six-year-old Tu "Johnny" Vu was driving back to his home in Cobleskill after shopping at one of Albany's Asian specialty markets when it hit him: "I forgot a green onion! I'll have to stop at the market in Cobleskill to pick one up."

The extra stop proved extra lucky for the former California resident who, while standing in line to purchase his produce, spied one of the "colorful" New York Poker instant tickets in the vending machine near the front of his neighborhood Price Chopper store.

"I bought the ticket because I liked the colors. I gave it to (my girlfriend) to hold and never really thought about it again until she scratched it that night at home and asked me if I thought it was a winner. I really didn't know. My brother convinced us both it was."

Vu purchased his lucky New York Poker ticket on November 1, 2009 at the Price Chopper at 105 Plaza Lane in Cobleskill. He drove the 40 plus miles from Schoharie County to the Lottery's offices in Schenectady the next day to claim his prize.

"Once I knew it was a winner, (the ticket) never left my pocket," said Vu.

A self-employed manicurist, Vu plans to use his $1,000,000 windfall to finance his dream of opening his own spa business. He also plans to "help family, pay bills and donate to charity."

As is the case with most Lottery instant games, the top prize on the New York Poker instant game is paid as an annuity. Vu will receive his prize in 20 annual payments of $50,000 each. He will receive an annual net check totaling $33,015 through 2028.

Other Capital Region residents who won or shared a Lottery prize valued at $1,000,000 or more in 2009 include:

  • Patti Parsons of Delmar who won $10,000,000 on the Win For Life Spectacular instant game in January
  • Pamela Fitch of Mechanicville who won $1,000,000 on the Big Bucks instant game in January
  • Lisa and Vincent Suto of Albany who split a $1,000,000 prize on the Triple Diamonds instant game in March
  • Alan North of Clifton Park who won $5,000,000 on the Set for Life instant game in March
  • Colleen Halliwell of Rotterdam who won $1,000,000 on the $500,000,000 Extravaganza instant game in May
  • Shirley Fleming of Clifton Park who won $1,000,000 on the New York Millionaire instant game in May
  • Bryan Ireland of South Glens Falls who won $1,000,000 on the Smooth 7s instant game in October

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 2008-9 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.