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New Jersey Mother of Two Wins $5,000,000 on Lottery Ticket She Didn’t Intend to Purchase

Forty-six-year-old Oksana Zaharov from Edgewater, NJ was in Manhattan shopping and decided to add a New York Lottery ticket to her list of things to buy. She asked the clerk for a $1 scratch-off ticket, but was accidently given a $10 Set For Life ticket. The mistake turned out to be a life changer for the mother of two when she scratched the ticket and revealed a $5,000,000 winner. 


“When the clerk handed me the wrong ticket I felt bad so I decided to just go ahead and buy it,” explained Zaharov. “I actually used the ticket as a bookmark for a couple weeks before I decided to scratch it.” 


Zaharov was skeptical once she finally did scratch the ticket. “I never win anything. I was sure the ticket was fake. It wasn’t until I brought it into the office that I knew it was for real.” 


The top prize on the Set For Life ticket guarantees a minimum payout of $5,000,000 to be paid over 20 years. Zaharov will receive her $5,000,000 in 19 annual payments of $260,000 (net $172,068) and one additional payment of $60,000 (net $39,708). After that, she will continue to receive an annual net payment of $172,068 for the rest of her life. 


Zaharov said she would like to celebrate her win with a family vacation to the Bahamas, but she’s excited that her children will benefit the most from her good fortune. “They will have a loan-free college education.” 


The winning ticket was purchased at Trisha Convenience on Dyckman Street in Manhattan. 


Zaharov is the 88th New York Lottery player to claim a prize totaling $1,000,000 or more this year. 


About the New York Lottery

The New York Lottery continues to be North America’s largest and most profitable Lottery, contributing $3.27 billion in fiscal year 2016-2017 to help support education in New York State. The Lottery’s contribution represents approximately 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.