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Lottery Win is Icing on the Cake for Valhalla Woman


Lucky winner purchased $3,000,000 scratch-off ticket while buying husband’s favorite birthday cake


White Plains – Darlene Smith of Valhalla won the $3,000,000 top prize on the new Instant Millionaire scratch-off ticket from the New York Lottery. Smith can thank her good fortune to a last minute stop to pick up her husband’s favorite birthday cake at the Stop & Shop on North Broadway in White Plains.


“I almost walked away from the machine and didn’t buy the ticket,” explained Smith. “I went to the Stop & Shop to buy my husband’s favorite ice cream cake and decided to buy a couple Lottery tickets from the vending machine. The gentleman ahead of me was taking a long time so I walked away and picked up a loaf of bread. When I walked past the machine he was gone so I bought my tickets.”


One of those tickets was the Lottery’s new Instant Millionaire scratch-off game. “Stop & Shop labels the new games when they put them in the machine. Those are the ones I like to play,” said the 27-year veteran of the U.S. Postal Service.


Smith purchased her life changing ticket on February 15 and claimed it later that day. “My husband didn’t want to hang onto it for long. I signed the back of the ticket and brought it in to claim.”


Smith has yet to decide on how she would like to receive her $3,000,000 prize. She can elect to take a lump sum of $2,360,000 netting her $1,561,848 after required withholdings. She also has the option of receiving 20 annual payments of $150,000 (net $99,270).


“I honestly don’t know how I will spend the money,” said Smith. “I’m still thinking about that, but I do know I want to be smart about it.”


About the New York Lottery

The NY Lottery continues to be North America’s largest and most profitable Lottery, contributing $3.17 billion in fiscal year 2013-2014 to help support education in New York State. The Lottery’s contribution represents 15 percent of total state education aid to local school districts.


NY 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.