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Yolanda Vega Awards $13,000,000 to Four Lottery Players from Long Island and Queens

PLAINVIEW, N.Y. – The New York Lottery’s Yolanda Vega presented over-sized prize checks worth a total of $13 million to four lucky Lottery players from Long Island and Queens. The winners included a pizza shop owner from Lake Grove who won a $1,000,000 jackpot on a ticket he purchased on his 73rd birthday; a husband and wife duo from Glen Head who won a $5,000,000 scratch-off prize; and a Queens store owner who won $1,000 a day on the popular CASH4LIFE draw game. 


Lake Grove Pizza Shop Owner hits $1,000,000 Jackpot on Ticket Purchased on his 73rd Birthday 

Seventy-three-year old Dimitrios Hatzisotiriou will never forget this year’s birthday. The pizza shop owner bought himself a Lottery scratch-off ticket on his birthday and won the $1,000,000 top prize. Ironically, Hatzisotiriou was on his way to the bank to pay some bills when his good fortune hit. 


“I was on my way to the bank to pay some bills, but it was closed,” explained Hatzisotiriou. “I went to my friend’s liquor store a few storefronts down and played some tickets while I waited for the bank to open.” 


Hatzisotiriou explained that it was the final ticket purchased that earned him his $1,000,000 pay day. “I lost $25 and then won $50,” he said. “I didn’t want to spend the whole $50 so I bought one $10 ticket.” 


The $10 ticket he purchased was the holiday themed Holiday Millionaire scratch-off. “I scratched off the numbers and saw the matching 36s and just started jumping up and down around the store. What a feeling!” 


The $1,000,000 top prize on the Holiday Millionaire ticket is paid out as a one-time lump sum payment. Hatzisotiriou will receive a lump sum check totaling $661,800 after required withholdings. 


Hatzisotiriou said he bought a new car with a $56,000 Take 5 prize he won a few years ago. This time around the plans are more personal. “I want to go home to Greece and see my mother and sister.” 


The New York Lottery contributed $245,288,826 in Lottery Aid To Education to school districts throughout Suffolk County during fiscal year 2015-2016. 


Glen Head Couple Splits $5,000,000 Lottery Scratch-Off Win 

Michelle and Dominic Nuzzi have been married for forty-six-years and have experienced a lot during their marriage. The happy couple can now add Lottery millionaires to their list. The Nuzzi’s won the $5,000,000 top prize on the Wild Bonanza Multiplier scratch-off ticket. Michelle purchased the couple’s life changing ticket while cashing in a $150 winning Take 5 ticket. 


“I bought several tickets, including scratch-offs and went home to do some housework,” explained Nuzzi. “I finished my work and then had a seat at the kitchen table to scratch my tickets,” she continued. “I saw number 49 and knew it matched the 49 on top. When I realized it said $5,000,000 below I started screaming, but no one was home to hear me!” 


Nuzzi’s husband, Dominic, admits he is not a Lottery player, but has no issue with his wife playing. “Why would I? I thought it was funny that she buys tickets every day, but she wins so what can I say?” 


Nuzzi’s biggest win before this was $60,000 on Take 5. “It’s all the luck of the draw,” she explained. You can’t expect to win all the time, but it’s always exciting. Never in a million years did I think I would win $5,000,000, but here we are.” 


The Nuzzi’s opted to split their one-time lump sum payment. Each will receive a net check totaling $1,654,500 after required withholdings. 


“We plan to use the money to buy a new computer and help our grandchildren afford College. After that our options are wide open.” 


The New York Lottery contributed $138,659,047 in Lottery Aid To Education to school districts throughout Nassau County during fiscal year 2015-2016. 


Queens Store Owner Wins Lottery Prize of Lifetime; Hits CASH4LIFE Jackpot Paying him $1,000 a Day for the Rest of His Life 

Ajit Rana, from Long Island City Queens, is a dedicated Lottery player and plays all of the weekly draw games. While at Bayside Supply on Union Turnpike in Oakland Gardens checking some of his tickets, Rana decided to buy his CASH4LIFE ticket for that night’s drawing. His ticket matched all six numbers drawn earning him the top prize that will pay him $1,000 a day for the rest of his life. 


Rana went back to Bayside Supply the day after the drawing and heard people talking about a winning ticket that was sold there. “I thought to myself, ‘I wonder if it’s me?’” he explained. “I checked my tickets and couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I was just in shock,” he continued. 


Rana immediately called his wife with the good news, but she didn’t believe him. “She thought I was joking,” he recalled. “So I went home and showed her the ticket. We just kept checking the numbers over and over again. We were both just totally surprised!” 


The top prize on the CASH4LIFE game is $1,000 a day for life. Rana will receive a net check totaling $227,410 every year for the rest of his life. 


Rana said he will take his time deciding to how to spend his fortune, but does know that he wants to buy a house. 


The winning numbers for the November 11, 2016 CASH4LIFE drawing were 8-11-37-41-54 Cash Ball 4. 


The New York Lottery contributed $1,241,108,424 in Lottery Aid To Education to school districts throughout the five Boroughs 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 $3.30 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.