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Million-dollar lottery jackpot revives college dream for Brooklyn woman

New York LotteryNew York Lottery: Million-dollar lottery jackpot revives college dream for Brooklyn woman
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Hard times forced Linza Ford to drop out of college, but a $1 million lottery jackpot has revived her educational dreams.

The 19-year-old Brooklyn woman was one of 10 lucky New Yorkers who collected oversized checks Thursday totaling $13 million in lottery winnings.

Ford had just completed her freshman year at Hofstra University when her dad had to go on disability and her family was forced to make sacrifices.

With money tight, Ford put her goals of earning a degree in psychology or social work on hold and took a job at Best Buy to help make ends meet.

"I didn't want to leave," she said. "That's one of the colleges I really wanted to go to. I was sobbing."

But her sorrow turned to joy last month when she took a break from doing the laundry and bought a Million Dollar Scratch ticket at Prabhu Grocery Store near her Bensonhurst home.

"I did not believe it. I looked at it, I'm like 'No, no, not me,'" said Ford, who had been mulling joining the Air Force. "When I finished I went home and I showed my mom. I think she freaked out more than I did."

She immediately realized what her reversal of fortune meant.

"I didn't finish school, but now I can go back," said Ford, who will receive 20 annual payments of $50,000, or $31,152 after withholding.

"I don't know if I can get financial aid now," she joked.

New York Lottery spokesman Ralph Buckley doled out the ceremonial prizes at the Lottery's headquarters in Harlem to Ford and nine other new millionaires.

Michael Reitan, 31, of Rego Park, Queens, says he won't totally believe he won until he sees those extra zeros show up in his bank account.

Reitan is waiting before making any extravagant purchases.

"I'm not going to do anything yet. Once it's in my account, then I'll go shopping," said Reitan, a customer and border protection officer at JFK airport.

Reitan, whose winning scratch-off ticket guarantees him a gross of $260,000 for the rest of his life, will net $172,068 annually after tax.

"I'm 31 now, so hopefully I'll live until I'm 231," said the fortuitous bachelor, who plans to keep working.

"I've got 14 years until retirement. But I'm not going to do overtime ever again," said Reitan.

Reminiscing about the glorious moment that changed his life, Reitan said he was alone in his apartment when he scratched the ticket he bought at the Lucky Corner in Rego Park.

"They say when a tree falls in the forest it doesn't make a sound. I'll tell you when a lottery winner scratches it off by themselves, they make sounds," Reitan said.

While he's not rushing out to spend his winnings, Reitan does have his heart set on a few luxuries. A devoted Jets fan, he wants to buy tickets for the 2014 Super Bowl at MetLife stadium.

Other $1 million winners were Linda Dixon of the Bronx; George Osorio of the Bronx; Catherine and John Passarella of Brooklyn; Anthony Pallone of Brooklyn; Alexander Change of Manhattan; Brian Egan of Manhattan; and Kenneth Isaac of Queens.

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

Daily News

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21 comments. Last comment 2 years ago by rdgrnr.
Page 1 of 2
Nikkicute's avatar - nnjx1k
RIGHT HERE!!
United States
Member #123295
February 17, 2012
2236 Posts
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Posted: December 21, 2012, 7:18 am - IP Logged

That's a Blessing for her, now she can finish school and graduate debt free!!Smile

I think it was smart of her to take the annual payments as well, keep money

coming in for while.

    dallascowboyfan's avatar - tiana the-princess-and-the-frog.jpg
    Oklahoma
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    November 12, 2009
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    Posted: December 21, 2012, 8:06 am - IP Logged

    Congratulations Ms. Ford......Thumbs Up

    I Love Pink & Green 1908

      Avatar
      Columbia, SC
      United States
      Member #135290
      November 21, 2012
      584 Posts
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      Posted: December 21, 2012, 8:53 am - IP Logged

      LOVE reading stories like this. Good for her!! Congratulations Ms. Ford!!

      "If you can DREAM it, you can DO it!"- Walt Disney

        Original Bey's avatar - Lottery-022.jpg

        Bahamas
        Member #133467
        September 30, 2012
        5462 Posts
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        Posted: December 21, 2012, 9:07 am - IP Logged

        The MIRACLE is in the timing!

        "Everything works  ONCE!"

          helpmewin's avatar - dandy
          u$a
          United States
          Member #106669
          February 22, 2011
          17580 Posts
          Online
          Posted: December 21, 2012, 9:20 am - IP Logged

          That's a Blessing for her, now she can finish school and graduate debt free!!Smile

          I think it was smart of her to take the annual payments as well, keep money

          coming in for while.

          Thumbs UpI Agree!

                           

            Avatar
            Texas
            United States
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            September 4, 2012
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            Posted: December 21, 2012, 9:55 am - IP Logged

            Linza Ford will truly have a better future knowing that going back to college will be her outmost goal in life after winning that $1million.  I adore her for she knew how valuable education is. Congratulations Linza and may you also reach your dream of becoming a Psychologist or Social Worker.

              rdgrnr's avatar - walt
              Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
              United States
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              April 28, 2009
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              Posted: December 21, 2012, 10:12 am - IP Logged

              I was hopin' to see Rosie's name on that list.


                                                           
                                   
                                                       

               

               

               

               

                                                                                                                 

              "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                                          --Edmund Burke

               

               

                Cletu$2's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
                S.E.Iowa
                United States
                Member #120509
                December 21, 2011
                534 Posts
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                Posted: December 21, 2012, 10:38 am - IP Logged

                Michael Reiten is 31 years old,hopes to live to be 231 years old and is going to retire in 14 years,at age 45? Something tells me that he is going to be in for at least two surprises in life.$260,000 doled out over 20 years isn't going to go far.

                When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it. ~Clarence Darrow

                There ought to be one day - just one - when there is open season on senators. ~Will Rogers

                  Avatar
                  New York
                  United States
                  Member #103603
                  January 4, 2011
                  2244 Posts
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                  Posted: December 21, 2012, 10:42 am - IP Logged

                  Michael Reiten is 31 years old,hopes to live to be 231 years old and is going to retire in 14 years,at age 45? Something tells me that he is going to be in for at least two surprises in life.$260,000 doled out over 20 years isn't going to go far.

                  will net $172,068 annually after tax.

                  From NYL website: Reitan purchased his jackpot winning Set For Life ticket at Lucky Corner on 63rd Drive in Rego Park. The top prize on the Set For Life ticket guarantees a minimum payout of $5,000,000 to be paid over 20 years. Reitan will receive his $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, he will continue to receive an annual net payment of $172,068 for the rest of his life. Reitan plans to use a portion of his winnings to help out his family and go to the Super Bowl in 2014.

                    Cletu$2's avatar - Lottery-050.jpg
                    S.E.Iowa
                    United States
                    Member #120509
                    December 21, 2011
                    534 Posts
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                    Posted: December 21, 2012, 10:51 am - IP Logged

                    will net $172,068 annually after tax.

                    From NYL website: Reitan purchased his jackpot winning Set For Life ticket at Lucky Corner on 63rd Drive in Rego Park. The top prize on the Set For Life ticket guarantees a minimum payout of $5,000,000 to be paid over 20 years. Reitan will receive his $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, he will continue to receive an annual net payment of $172,068 for the rest of his life. Reitan plans to use a portion of his winnings to help out his family and go to the Super Bowl in 2014.

                    Okay,I missread it.But,he's still going to be in for one surprise,he ain't going to live to be 231 years old!Unless he is related to Methusala.

                    When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it. ~Clarence Darrow

                    There ought to be one day - just one - when there is open season on senators. ~Will Rogers

                      HaveABall's avatar - rocket

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                      March 18, 2009
                      987 Posts
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                      Posted: December 21, 2012, 12:07 pm - IP Logged

                      Yeah, more big lottery jackpot winners; congratulations everyone!  Party

                      Having millions of dollars in my financial accounts means more, consistent fun for me.Lovies

                        dpoly1's avatar - driver
                        PA
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                        October 16, 2008
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                        Posted: December 21, 2012, 12:29 pm - IP Logged

                        Good for her! Congrats!

                        Dance

                        dpoly1 - Playing the lottery to save the jobs of those that build, transport, sell & maintain luxury items! -

                         

                        Eschew Poverty ........... Vote Conservative!

                          Artist77's avatar - batman14

                          United States
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                          January 16, 2012
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                          Posted: December 21, 2012, 7:14 pm - IP Logged

                          Linza Ford will truly have a better future knowing that going back to college will be her outmost goal in life after winning that $1million.  I adore her for she knew how valuable education is. Congratulations Linza and may you also reach your dream of becoming a Psychologist or Social Worker.

                          I Agree!

                           

                          Ms. Ford may end up saving lives one day.

                          Just as the bird sings or the butterfly soars,

                          because it is his natural characteristic,

                          so the artist works.

                          by Alma  Gluck

                            haymaker's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
                            egg harbor twp.south jersey shore
                            United States
                            Member #112972
                            June 29, 2011
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                            Posted: December 21, 2012, 7:35 pm - IP Logged

                            I Agree!

                             

                            Ms. Ford may end up saving lives one day.

                            Quite possible, everything happens for a reason !

                            Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds    -- Charles Mackay  LL.D.