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Free Quick Pick Earns Seaford Couple $13M Lotto Prize


Additional winners from Valley Stream, Holbrook, Babylon and Bay Shore Win $3,000,000 in Lottery Prizes


The New York Lottery’s Yolanda Vega today presented four ceremonial prize checks worth $16,000,000 to mix of Lottery scratch-off and draw game winners, including a Nassau County couple who won a $13,000,000 Lotto jackpot with a set of Quick Pick numbers they received free as part of a recent Lotto sales promotion. The check presentations took place at the Lottery’s Customer Service Center in Plainview where all of the winning tickets were claimed.


Seaford Couple Wins $13,000,000 Lotto Jackpot with Free Quick Pick Ticket

John and Sharon Ventrice of Seaford recently claimed a $13,000,000 jackpot from the March 8 Lotto drawing. The two new multimillionaires won with a free ticket they received as part of a limited-time New York Lottery sales promotion that guaranteed players a free set of Quick Pick numbers with every $10 Lotto purchase on a single ticket.


John Ventrice, a senior project engineer at Capital One, said he wasn’t aware of any promotion; he just wanted to play Lotto and Powerball.


“I gave my son Zachary $20 to get some tickets for me as he left the house to gas up his car,” Ventrice said. “I told him to put $10 toward Lotto and $10 toward Powerball.”


Ventrice said he checked his numbers the following morning when he went out to put gas in his own vehicle. “I scanned the [first] Lotto ticket and it was a $1 winner,” said the father of three children, including 21-year-old Zachary. “I then scanned the [free] Lotto ticket and it said ‘Big Winner.’ I asked the clerk just how big and after he told me, I couldn’t pump the gas fast enough.”


Ventrice said he raced home to tell his wife, Sharon, but she didn’t believe him so they both re-visited the store where Ventrice verified his $13,000,000 winner.


“I went in alone,” explained Sharon Ventrice. “I asked the clerk, ‘Was there a man just in here with a big winner for the Lotto?’” Ventrice said even after speaking to the clerk, she still couldn’t believe it.


The Ventrices opted to receive the cash value of their $13,000,000 jackpot with each receiving a 50 percent share of the prize. Each will receive a single lump sum payment totaling $4,053,361.50 (net $2,682,515.50).


The Ventrices said they are still overwhelmed and have no immediate plans for the money beyond acknowledging Zachary’s role in securing the family’s new found fortune.


“We’ll do something special for him,” said John Ventrice. “He wants a new car,” added Sharon Ventrice. “He should probably have a more reliable car.”


The Ventrice’s winning ticket was purchased at Gulf Gas on 570 Hicksville Road in Seaford.


El Salvador Immigrant With Two Jobs Will Use $1,000,000 Ruby 2s Prize to Improve His English, Become U.S. Citizen

Jimmy Candelario, 37, of Valley Stream, Nassau County, works two cleaning jobs to support his wife of four years and the couple’s two children. The El Salvador native who immigrated to New York 10 years ago said he may now be able to cut back on his 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. work schedule thanks to the $1,000,000 prize he won on the Lottery’s Ruby 2s scratch-off game.


Candelario bought his $5 Ruby 2s ticket at The Depot/New Smithhaven Smoke Shop located within the Green Acres Mall where he works in maintenance during the day.


“I went to work at the mall yesterday and bought a cup of coffee after work,” Candelario said through his brother Fernando who also served as his interpreter. “I had $30 of winning tickets to trade in for other tickets, so I did that when I bought my coffee,” he continued.


Candelario said he scratched his jackpot winning ticket while still in the Mall and called Fernando to share the news of his jackpot win. The two then broke the news to their mother.


“She said it wasn’t fair that she’s been buying tickets for 25 years and has never won, and I’ve only been buying for 10 and I did. She said I won all her money back!”


Candelario elected to receive the cash value of his $1,000,000 annuity prize, earning him a single net payment of $516,204. He said he plans to continue working but will look into cutting back on his hours to spend more time with his family. He said he is currently enrolled in a class to become a U.S. Citizen and will use some of the money to enroll in another class to improve his English.


Holbrook Resident Holds Out on Claiming $1,000,000 Powerball Ticket

Thirty-eight-year-old construction company owner Dennis Pedra of Holbrook, Suffolk County won a $1,000,000 second prize for matching the first five numbers drawn in the July 13, 2013 Powerball drawing. The self-employed construction worker said he waited seven months to claim his prize to avoid the attention that would come with claiming.


The reluctant millionaire said he bought the ticket last summer at a store near a job site.


“I stopped for a slice of pizza for lunch and walked next door for a couple of tickets,” Pedra said. “Those are my two vices in life,” he continued. “I like food and the Lotto.”


Pedra said he swiped his Quick Pick ticket through a Lottery ticket checker at a different store the following week and got a “Big Winner” message.


“I didn’t want to show the ticket to anyone so I put it in my pocket and went back to work. I called my wife later and asked her to check the numbers for me and I remember thinking, ‘Too bad I still have to go to work tomorrow.’”


The jackpot winning numbers for the July 13, 2013 drawing were 02 08 22 35 37 (06).


Pedra purchased his winning ticket at Carry-All Wine & Liquor at 5507 Nesconset Highway in Mount Sinai.


Babylon Massage Therapist and 7-Eleven Clerk from Bay Shore Share $1,000,000 Win $1,000 A Week For Life Prize

36-year-old massage therapist Peter “Pete” Arebalo of Babylon has been sharing his Lottery winnings with his buddy, 20-year-old 7-Eleven clerk Aazazullah Kahn for a while. It only seemed right to Arebalo that he should continue the tradition when he won the jackpot prize on the Lottery’s Win $1,000 A Week for Life scratch-off game; a prize worth at least $1,000,000.


Kahn works at the 7-Eleven on 140 Little East Neck Rd in West Babylon where Arebalo purchased the jackpot winning ticket on March 14, 2014. The two like to chat when Arebalo stops in a few times a week and have developed a friendship over the years. Arebalo likes to have Kahn choose the tickets for him, so Kahn “mixes it up” and picks different games each time.


Arebalo scratched the Win $1,000 A Week for Life ticket right in the store and couldn’t believe what he saw. He opted to split the prize with Kahn since he had played a part in selecting the winning ticket. He believes in generosity and wanted Kahn to be a “part of the magic.”


The two claimed their prize on March 17, 2014 and have opted for the lump sum, netting them $257,014.00 each.




The New York Lottery contributed $1,200,599,252.62 in Lottery Aid To Education to school districts throughout New York County during fiscal year 2012-2013.


About the New York Lottery

 The New York Lottery continues to be North America’s largest and most profitable Lottery, contributing $3.04 billion in fiscal year 2012-2013 to help support education in New York State. The Lottery’s contribution represents 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.


About the New York State Gaming Commission

The New York State Gaming Commission regulates all aspects of gaming and gambling activity in the state, including horse racing and pari-mutuel wagering, class III Indian gaming, video lottery terminal facilities at race tracks, the state lottery and charitable gaming.