$8,000,000 in Lottery Scratch-Off Prizes Awarded to two Long Island Residents
PLAINVIEW, N.Y. – The New York Lottery’s Yolanda Vega presented over-sized prize checks worth a total of $8 million to two lucky Lottery players from Long Island. The winners included a Nassau County woman who won $3,000,000 on the $3,000,000 Frenzy instant game and a Medford man who is “Set For Life” after winning a prize of at least $5,000,000.
Self-Employed Long Beach Woman Hits the Jackpot on $3,000,000 Frenzy
Diana Orozco of Long Beach has claimed the top prize of $3,000,000 on the $3,000,000 Frenzy scratch-off game. Orozco, who is self-employed in the clothing sale industry, said she likes to the play New York Lottery scratch-off games every day.
On December 31, Orozco asked her husband to go to the store for her to buy a $3,000,000 Frenzy ticket.
“I wanted that ticket because it’s a new game, and I’ve been playing it for about a week.”
Her husband scratched the ticket right away and called Orozco to tell her the good news.
“He said ‘Oh my God! You won!’ and I said, ‘Won what?’ and he said ‘The jackpot!’ I didn’t believe him. I thought he was joking. But when he got home and showed me the ticket, I knew right away that I won $3 million dollars.”
Orozco said she is a bit overwhelmed by her jackpot win. “Sometimes you might feel like you are not going to win, but I am a true believer now.”
Orozco has chosen to receive her prize as a one-time lump-sum payment of $2,410,000, netting her $1,594,938 after required withholdings.
Orozco’s plans for the money include buying a house, a car and to save for the future.
The New York Lottery contributed $138,659,047 in Lottery Aid To Education to school districts throughout Nassau County during fiscal year 2015-2016.
Retired Suffolk County Public Safety Supervisor Wins at Least $5,000,000 on Set For Life
Seventy-one-year-old retired Suffolk County Public Safety Supervisor Neal Damato has claimed a top prize worth at least $5 million on the Set for Life instant game. The former soldier and Army National Guardsman works part-time as a school bus driver. Damato’s story begins with a hankering for a hamburger and ends with a lucky can of soup.
“I was not working that day and told my wife that I wanted to go out for a burger for lunch,” explained Damato, a father of three and grandfather of seven. “After that, we did a couple of errands and my wife told me she wanted to go to Kohl’s. I sat in the car like I always do feeling really stuffed from the burger. I decided to head over to the Stop and Shop for a can of soup for dinner because that’s all I had room for.”
Damato, a resident of Medford, said his life changed forever before he ever made it back to the car.
“I put $20 in the vending machine and got two of the same (Set For Life) tickets. I scratched the first ticket outside the store and stood there in disbelief thinking, ‘Something’s not right here.’ I double- and triple-checked and then went looking for my wife who was still in Kohl’s.”
Damato has chosen to receive his prize as a one-time lump-sum payment, netting him $2,624,617 after required withholdings.
Damato said he planned to use his windfall to plan a Hawaiian vacation with his wife to celebrate the pair’s 50th wedding anniversary next month.
“I’m trying to coax her into adding Tahiti to the itinerary, but I have a little more convincing to do.”
Damato’s wife Carol, 68, said the couple is on the same page about prioritizing their prize money. “We both want to help our kids with their college bills and mortgages and pay off other bills the best we can.”
“One thing is certain,” said Neal Damato about that can of soup he decided to buy at the last minute. “No one will ever open that can. I want them to bury me with that lucky can of chicken noodle.”
The New York Lottery contributed $245,288,826 in Lottery Aid To Education to school districts throughout Suffolk County during fiscal year 2015-2016.
About the New York Lottery
The New York Lottery continues to be North America’s largest and most profitable Lottery, contributing $3.3 billion in fiscal year 2015-2016 to help support education in New York State. The Lottery’s contribution represents 14 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.