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Yolanda Vega Awards $6,000,000 in Prizes to Six From Long Island, Queens and the Bronx

The New York Lottery’s Yolanda Vega today presented prize checks worth $6,000,000 to Lottery players from Nassau, Suffolk, Queens and Bronx Counties.  Four of the winners won their $1,000,000 prizes on New York Lottery instant tickets.  Two others won their fortune on the Sweet Million draw game.  All of the winners claimed their winning tickets at the Lottery’s Customer Service Center in Garden City.


Self-Employed Software Distributor Wins $1,000,000 on the New Empire State Millionaire Instant Ticket
Fifty-five-year-old Claude Barcos of Mineola, Nassau County is an occasional Lottery player who was in the right place at the right time.  Barcos stopped at a 7-Eleven for his afternoon coffee and used a winning Empire State Millionaire instant ticket to buy his cup o’ joe and a four more of the same ticket. The third ticket made him an instant Lottery millionaire.
“I called my wife right away and all she could do was cry.  They were tears of joy of course,” explained the self-employed educational software distributor. 


Barcos purchased his $1,000,000 winning Empire State Millionaire ticket at the 7-Eleven on Jericho Turnpike in Mineola on April 1, 2011 and he claimed it that very day. Barcos opted to split the prize with his wife Christina.  Each will receive an annual payment of $25,000 ($16,507 net) for 20 years.


“This is a huge win for me and my family.  Most of it will go toward our retirement but our son really wants a new car.  I’m not sure what model, but we’ll let him pick it out,” said Barcos.


Levittown Grandmother Takes Store’s Advice; Buys Three Minute To Win It Scratch Off Tickets, Hits $1,000,000 Jackpot
On March 5th, Teresa Meyers, 69, of Levittown, Nassau County was running her weekend errands, which included picking up her husband’s weekly Lottery tickets.  She had a $15 winning ticket in her pocket and asked the store clerk for three more tickets.  The clerk suggested the popular Minute To Win It instant game. 


“I brought them home and scratched them Sunday night.  I saw the jackpot symbol, but still didn’t really believe I was a winner,” said the processor for an insurance company. “I brought the ticket into work with me the next morning and showed my boss who knew immediately it was a winner.  I took the rest of the day off and claimed it that afternoon.”


Meyers purchased her winning ticket at EPB Stationery/Sealed with a Kiss on Hicksville Road in Bethpage.  She will receive her $1,000,000 prize as $50,000 a year for the next 20 years.  Her annual net check will total $33,015 after required withholdings.
“People like me don’t win things like this so it’s all still setting in,” said the grandmother of eight.  “I will certainly share it with my family and then decide what I’ll do for myself.  I enjoy traveling, and Hawaii and Italy have been on my list of places to visit.  I’ll be crossing them off that list very soon.”


Sweet Million Promotion Prompts Massapequa Father of Three to Purchase $1,000,000 Winning Ticket
Thirty-eight-year-old Joseph Zaccaria from Massapequa, Nassau County noticed the Lottery’s Buy $5 Get $3 Free promotion for the Sweet Million draw game and decided to give the game a shot.  Zaccaria matched all six numbers from the March 14th drawing.  After realizing he won, Zaccaria’s biggest question was how to break the life changing news to his wife.


“I checked the numbers and when I realized I just won $1,000,000 my head was spinning,” said the general contractor and father of three.  “My first thought was ‘how can I surprise my wife with such wonderful news.’  I was trying to come up with a plan to surprise her, but in the end I couldn’t keep it to myself.  I just went home and blurted it out!”
Zaccaria purchased his winning ticket on March 12th at Neelkanth on Wantagh Avenue in Wantagh.  He claimed his prize on March 15th. He will receive his $1,000,000 as a one time lump sum payment totaling $660,300 after required tax withholdings.


The winning Sweet Million numbers for March 14, 2011 were 5 – 8 – 13 – 15 – 25 – 30


“I’m still in total shock over this huge win.  I have a lot of plans for the money but right now I’ll pay off my mortgage and then take the family on a much needed vacation.  We already booked the trip to Florida,” said Zaccaria.


Coram Man ‘Cashes’ in on the Lottery’s $1,000,000 Cashword Instant Ticket
Jesse Sones, 31, of Coram, Suffolk County plays Lottery scratch offs on his lunch break to help pass the time.  His games of choice include the popular Cashword and Bingo instant tickets.  On March 22nd, Sones ordinary lunch routine turned extraordinary when the homecare provider hit the top prize on a $1,000,000 Cashword game.


“I like the Cashword tickets because they take a little more time to scratch off.  When I scratched my winning ticket I initially thought I won $100,” said Sones.  “I took it to the store to scan it and a weird message came up.  That’s when I realized I won $1,000,000.  It was quite the shock to say the least.”


Sones purchased his winning $1,000,000 Cashword ticket at the Amphora Exxon on Motor Parkway in Brentwood on March 22nd.  He claimed it that very next day at the Lottery’s Customer Service Center in Garden City.  Sones will receive his $1,000,000 as a one time lump sum payment of $660,300 after required withholdings


“This is all still a little overwhelming,” explained Sones.  “I’ve been toying with idea of going back to school so the money with help with that.  I just started learning how to play guitar so I might upgrade the one I have now.”


Twenty-Four-Year-Old Queens Woman Wins Lottery Prize of a Lifetime
Navneet Kaur of South Ozone Park, Queens hit the jackpot of a lifetime when she scratched off three ‘Life’ symbols on the Lottery’s popular Win $1,000 a Week for Life instant game.  The win guarantees the twenty-four-year old a minimum payout of $1,000,000.
“I scratched the three life symbols and then read the instructions on the ticket,” said Kaur. “I started jumping up and down and screaming,” continued the part-time restaurant worker.  “I signed it right away and brought it to the Lottery office the very next day.  It’s very exciting knowing I’ll get $1,000 a week for the rest of my life!”


The jackpot winning ticket was purchased on March 22nd at the Jastic Mart on Atlantic Avenue in Richmond Hills.  She will receive a minimum of 19 annual payments of $52,000 (net $32,320) each and a 20th payment of $12,000 (net $7,459). Once she has realized her $1,000,000 minimum prize, Kaur will continue to receive an annual net check totaling $32,320 for life.


“The best part about winning on this ticket is it pays for life.  I am only twenty four so I plan on winning for many more years,” said Kaur.  “I don’t know exactly how I’ll spend the money, but I have the rest of my life to figure that out!”


Minor League Baseball Prospect Plays the Lottery’s Sweet Million Game for the First Time and Hits the $1,000,000 Jackpot
Playing on the big leagues ahs always been a dream for Joel Torres, originally from the Bronx with family now living in Queens. The 24-year-old minor leaguer can’t remember the last time he played the Lottery, but recently, while home visiting his mother in Queens before heading off to Spring Training, something told Torres he was due for a lucky break. That break came on February 24th when the center fielder scored  a $1,000,000 win for matching all six numbers drawn in the February 24th Sweet Million drawing.


“I never really play the Lottery but something told me try this game,” explained Torres. “I checked the results at the store and I jumped up and down until I was out of breath!”
Torres purchased his winning ticket on February 24th at Compare Foods on Linden Boulevard in Elmont.  He claimed his prize on February 28th.  The $1,000,000 prize on the Sweet Million game is paid as a lump sum. Torres will receive a one-time net check totaling $660,300.


The winning Sweet Million numbers for February 24, 2011 were 03 – 04 – 10 – 14 – 25 – 30


“The first thing I plan to do with the money is buy my mom a new house,” said Torres.  “The rest of it I’ll make sure to spend wisely.”


The New York Lottery continues to be North America’s largest and most profitable Lottery, contributing over $3 billion in fiscal year 2010-2011 to help support education in New York State.  The Lottery’s aid represents over 15 percent of total state education funding to local school districts. 


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.